Forget Type A: a woman’s heart disease risk is higher for Type D personalities

woman sunglasses angry

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

According to the Harvard Heart Letter, if you are the kind of person who . . .

  • tends to sweat the small stuff
  • sees the glass as half empty
  • keeps your feelings bottled up inside

… then you might well be termed a Type D (distressed or distant) personality, and be at increased risk for heart disease.

Type D people tend to be anxious, irritable, and insecure. They keep an eye out for trouble rather than pleasure. They may experience high levels of stress, anger, worry, hostility, tension, rudeness and other negative and distressing emotions. Even if they lack a strong support network of friends or family, they go to great lengths to avoid saying or doing things that others don’t like. As a result of biting their tongues to keep their negativity to themselves, they often feel tense and inhibited around other people.

Does this sound like it might be you?
Continue reading “Forget Type A: a woman’s heart disease risk is higher for Type D personalities”

Are you a priority in your own life?

red shoes collage

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When I attended the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium for Women With Heart Disease at Mayo Clinic, cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes (founder of the Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic) told us about a 2000 study on women’s life priorities called “Hierarchy of Female Concerns” that asked its female participants this one question:

“What is most important to you?”

Now, when I do presentations about women’s heart health, I like to ask my audiences to guess in advance the correct order of this study’s top six answers, just for fun.

These rankings are surprising, in an amusing-yet-oddly-pathetic way.  The order of our reported priorities may also help to explain why, even when women are experiencing deadly heart attack symptoms, they will delay seeking treatment if something ‘more important’ crops up.

‘More important? What could possibly be more important when you’re having a heart attack? Check out the terrific film “Just a Little Heart Attack” for a great example of our treatment-seeking delay behaviour.

And then see if this list of women’s reported priorities matches the answers that you might give, too: keep reading…