Objectives. The aims of the paper were to compare persons with essential hypertension with those with no hypertension for mean neuroticism level, and to identify the neuroticism scale items most markedly associated with the presence of arterial hypertension.
Method. The study was conducted in Boguszyce, a little town near Wrocław, as a part of local residents ' screening for cardiovascular diseases. Among 99 participants of the screening (71% women, 29% men, aged 19 to 73, median age 53 years) 42 persons (42%) were diagnosed with essential hypertension. All the screening participants were examined using the neuroticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). The items most markedly associated with the presence of arterial hypertension were identified and included in a separate subscale.
Results. The mean neuroticism score was significantly higher in the hypertension group than in the non-hypertensive respondents (14.8 and 12.2, respectively, p = 0.02). However, significance of the difference disappeared when age was controlled for (p = 0.074). The developed subscale consisted of 7 items from the neuroticism scale. The essential hypertension group scored on this subscale significantly higher than did non-hypertensive respondents (mean scores 4.73 and 3.24, respectively, p<0.000068).The Cronbach a coefficient of internal consistency was 0.67. The difference between mean scores of the two groups was statistically significant also when age and education level were controlled for (p = 0.0015).
Conclusions. The subscale developed from the EPQ-R neuroticism scale items differentiated statistically significantly between respondents with hypertension and non-hypertensive controls, irrespective of their age and education.