2009 issue 2


Volume 18, issue 2

Original paper

Personality traits related to the diagnosis of essential hypertension

Krzysztof Małyszczak1, Angelika Pyszel1, Andrzej Szuba1
1. Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii AM we Wrocławiu
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2009; 18 (2): 127-132
Keywords: essential hypertension, alexithymia, hostility, neuroticism, social desirability


Objectives. To assess the relationship between selected personality traits and essential hypertension.
Method A total of 175 subjects participated in the study: 84 inpatients diagnosed with essential hypertension (52 men and 32 women) and 91 controls with no such diagnosis (56 men and 35 women). The following instruments were used: the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (CMHS), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire (BVAQ), the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS), the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) by Goldberg, and the Symptom Checklist SCL-90-R.
Results. Four factors related to hypertension were found in factor analysis. The first reflects psychopathological symptomatology severity measured using the GHQ andSCL-90-R, and also included twopersonality traits: neuroticism and alexithymia (TAS-TIU). The second factor comprisedsocial desirability scores on MCSDS, and the Lie scale of the EPQ-R. The third included the scale of psychoticism and an artificial Alex3-2 scale, while the fourth - BMI values only.
Conclusions. Personality traits turned out to have a weak but statistically significant relation to the diagnosis of hypertension. Neuroticism and alexithymia were associated with anxiety-depressive symptoms severity and their relationship with hypertension resultsprobably from the somatic condition. Neither social desirability nor the Lie scale scores were related to symptom severity and they may be assumed to be predictors of essential hypertension.

Address for correspondence:
Dr hab. Krzysztof Małyszczak
Katedra i Klinika Psychiatrii AM we Wrocławiu
ul. Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław
tel. 71 7766 295
e-mail: durlik@life.pl