The relationship between type D personality and heart rate variability in community mental health center users

Noeul Kang, Jeung Suk Lim, Taik Gun Hwang, Sook Haeng Joe, Moon Soo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Type D personality can be regarded as a promising cardiovascular risk marker that has been repeatedly linked to relevant indicators of mental health, quality of life, morbidity, and mortality in cardiac patients. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive technology that can provide information regarding a patient’s sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and the control mechanisms of the autonomic systems in the cardiovascular system. As both type D personality and HRV are parameters related to the cardiovascular system, we assumed a relationship between type D personality and HRV. This study set out to identify the relationship between type D and HRV and the differences in HRV variables between type D and non-type D personalities. Methods Patients who visited Guro Community Mental Health Center from January 2011 to December 2012 were surveyed. They were evaluated using both the Korean version of the Type D Personality-14 for type D personality and HRV. During the survey, those who reported major cardiovascular disease that can affect heart rate variability were excluded from the study. Results Our analysis included 559 participants, 249 of whom were classified as type D personality. No significant differences were found in the HRV variables between the type D group and the non-type D group. There were also no clinically meaningful correlations between HRV variables and type D total/subscale scores when controlled for patient age. Conclusion A relationship between HRV and type D personality was not identified using short-term HRV measurements in non-clinical patients with no definitive cardiovascular disease. Further studies using long-term HRV measurements in patients with cardiovascular disease are necessary to conclude an association between HRV and type D personality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Korean Neuropsychiatric Association.


  • Autonomic instability
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart rate variability
  • Short-term measurement
  • Type d personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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