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Chapter 14

Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Coronary Circulation, Type A And Type B Personality Theory, Cardiovascular Disease

Course Code
Doug Hazlewood

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Chapter 14: Psychology and Physical Health
-People’s health is now more likely to be compromised by chronic diseases (ones that develop over many years)
rather than contagious diseases
-Lifestyle and stress play a much larger role in the development of chronic diseases than they do in contagious
-Chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke) account for 60% of all deaths in the US
-Psychological and social factors also contribute to many other less serious illnesses such as headaches,
backaches, skin disorders, asthma, and ulcers
-These new shifting patterns of disease and findings about the influence of stress relating to physical illness has
us moving away from the previously thought purely biological model of disease
-The biopsychosocial model holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological,
psychological, and sociocultural factors
-Health psychology which emerged in the late 70s is concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the
promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness
Stress, Personality, and Illness
-Guiding assumption, is that a person’s characteristic demeanour can influence his/her physical health
Personality, Emotions, and Heart Disease
-Heart disease accounts for nearly 30% of the deaths in US/yr
-Coronary HD results from a reduction in blood flow though the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the
heart causes ~90% of heart related deaths
-Atherosclerosis is a gradual narrowing of the coronary arteries and is the principal cause of CHD and is caused
by the build up of fatty deposits and other debris on the inner walls. It progresses slowly over many years, is
more prevalent in men than women, and tends to increase with age
-Narrowed coronary arteries may eventually lead to situations where the heart is temporarily deprived of
adequate blood flow, causing a condition called myocardial ischemia which may be accompanied by a brief
chest pain called angina
- If a coronary artery is blocked completely (w/ maybe a blot clot), this can cause a heart attack, or myocardial
-Other established risk factors for CHD are smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure
- Smoking and diabetes are stronger risk factors for women than men
- Cardiovascular diseases kill women just as much as men but then tend to emerge in women ~10 years later
than in men
- Recently, there has been attention given to the fact that inflammation may contribute to atherosclerosis and
elevated coronary risk by initiating its progression, as well as other complications that trigger heart attacks
- C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker in the blood that helps estimate individuals’ coronary risk
- Combined levels of CRP and cholesterol appear to be related to coronary risk
- They are also predictive of the development of high blood pressure, which suggests that hypertension may be
part of an inflammatory syndrome
Hostility and Coronary Risk
-In the 60-70s cardiologists Meyes Friedman and Ray Rosenman found a connection b/n coronary risk and a
Type A personality, which involves self-imposed stress and intense reactions to stress
- They divided people into Type A and Type B personalities
- Type A personality includes 3 elements
1. strong competitive orientation
2. impatience and time urgency
3. anger and hostility
othese people are ambitious, hard-working perfectionists who are exceedingly time conscious, try to do
many things at once, achievement-oriented workaholics, they are easily aggravated ,and get angry
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