Researchers analyzed data from the CDC, which has followed a cohort of patients with type 1 diabetes for 22 years.
The study showed that for every 1 point increase on the Bortner Rating Scale that evaluated type A behavior, there was a 1% decrease in all cause mortality. This association between type A behavior and mortality was adjusted for age, education, duration of diabetes, body mass index, smoking status, duration of diabetes, and physical activity.
In previous studies, a higher Bortner score predicted an increased risk of coronary artery disease and associated mortality. This study showed no such association. The authors also commented on the influence of depression, “Future research is needed to investigate the interaction with the Beck Depression Inventory and type A behavior.”
This further research is essential as a next step in diabetes research is examining the effects of factors such as depression on mortality in type 1 diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes is an unpreventable and incurable disease, it is important to find risk factors and avoid them early on in an attempt to decrease morbidity and mortality.
One of these risk factors for type 1 diabetes is type A behavior that is associated with aggressiveness, competitiveness, and achievement oriented personality traits. The authors said, “It appears that type A behavior may have different effects on health depending on underlying chronic disease status. Overall authors found that diabetic patients with type A behavior are more likely to have better blood glucose levels as they probably take extra precautions and are more careful about their disease state.”
Fickley CE, et al “Type A behavior and risk of all-cause mortality, cAD, and CAD-related mortality in a type 1 diabetic population” Diabetes Care 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc13-0266.