An optimist and happy individual can lead a long and healthy life. The condition of your health could be determined by your personality. The association between health disorders and personality traits has been confirmed in several studies. A habitual pessimist has increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Type D personality
An individual with negative emotions belongs to the type D personality group. A Type D individual is defined as someone with negative affectivity and social inhibition. Negative affectivity, which is said to be closely associated with neuroticism, is the tendency of an individual to experience negative feelings. Negative emotions include anxiety, hostility, anger and depression. Social inhibition makes the type D individual stay away from social interactions. They feel insecure and uncomfortable while interacting with others. Type D character traits make an individual prone to illnesses.
Negative emotions and PAD
PAD or peripheral artery disease, also known as atherosclerosis, is characterized by plague formation in the peripheral arteries. In a recent study conducted by researchers of Tilburg University in The Netherlands, death from peripheral arterial diseases is greater among individuals with type D personality. Plague build-up in arterial walls leads to heart attack and stroke. According to this study, hostility could accelerate the rate of plague build-up, increasing the severity of the peripheral artery disease.
Rise in cortisol level
Studies have found that cortisol secretion increases with stress and negative emotions. Type D personality individuals have elevated cortisol level. High cortisol level increases the risk of several diseases. It increases the risk of heart diseases, osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes and peptic ulcer. Cortisol inhibits secretion of growth hormone. Growth hormone deficiency increases the risk of premature cardiovascular ailments. Lack of growth hormone also stimulates development of visceral fat. Increase in visceral fat is one of the major factors responsible for insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Heart attack risk
Type D personality traits are extremely bad for your heart. It leads to carotid atherosclerosis, increases the risk of coronary heart disease, lowers recovery from cardiovascular diseases and increases death from cardiac diseases. Studies have shown that even by controlling the conventional risk factors associated with cardiac illnesses, such as hypertension, high blood cholesterol and diabetes, the risk of cardiac deaths in type D personality individuals is four times more than that in people with normal psychological traits.