In Search of Coronary-Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A

In Search of Coronary-Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A

In Search of Coronary-Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A

In Search of Coronary-Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A


In Search of Cornoary-Prone Behavior: Beyond Type A provides a methodology of enormous potential for examining the relationship between behavioral variables and basic pathophysiological mechanisms. They discuss the history of Type-A behavior pattern (TABP) as it relates to coronary heart disease (CHD).

Students and researchers with an interest in the correlation between personality and coronary behavior, as well as behavioral medicine, social and health psychology, and the neurosciences.


A decade ago, the accumulation of research findings bearing on the epidemiological validity of the Type A behavior pattern (TABP) was sufficiently positive to convince a NIH-sponsored scientific review panel to conclude that it was an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). Positive findings regarding the TABP stimulated a second decade of retrospective and prospective epidemiological, biobehavioral, and biomedical research. The second decade of research has produced an expanding body of negative findings, which has called into serious question the risk factor status of globally-defined TABP and has suggested that the earlier conclusion of the review panel was premature.

Despite the growing body of evidence against global TABP as a risk factor for CHD, research has continued to examine whether some of the components of the multidimensional TABP are related to clinical manifestations of CHD. Such research is guided by the distinction between the construct of TABP and the concept of coronary-prone behavior; a distinction that recognizes that many of the attributes contained in the conceptual definition of the global TABP may not be related to CHD and as such are simply benign correlates of the pattern. In fact, some elements of TABP may even be protective and only a few, even perhaps one, may be "toxic" in its effects. In addition, the concept of coronary-prone behavior raises the possibility that behavioral attributes not included in the traditional definition of TABP may qualify as coronary-prone tendencies.

There are standard epidemiological criteria for establishing any variable as a risk factor for CHD. When the latter criteria are reasonably satisfied, a risk factor is identified. But the scientific search for the pathogenic component of the established risk factor continues to proceed. For example, following the identifi-

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