Association between type D personality, depression, and oxidative stress in patients with chronic heart failure

Nina Kupper, Yori Gidron, Jobst Winter, Johan Denollet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To examine whether markers of oxidative stress differ as a function of Type D personality, depression, and chronic heart failure (CHF) etiology. Type D (distressed) personality and depression are related to poor cardiac prognosis. Because patients with CHF are characterized by increased oxidative stress, this may be a candidate mechanism responsible for the adverse prognosis in emotionally distressed patients with CHF. METHODS: Serum levels of xanthine oxidase (XO), inducible heat shock protein (Hsp)70, and deoxyribonucleic acid damage marker 8-OHdG were measured in 122 patients, and effects of Type D, depression, and etiology were assessed. RESULTS: CHF patients with Type D personality had lower levels of Hsp70 than non-Type D patients (6.48 ng/mL versus 7.85 ng/mL, p =.04, d = 0.26), and in case of an ischemic etiology, higher levels of XO (13.57 ng/mL versus 9.84 ng/mL, p =.01, d = 0.98). There were no significant univariate differences for depression. When adding depression as an additional independent variable in the Type D analysis, the effect of Type D personality remained significant (F = 5.460, p =.02) and was independent of depression (F = 0.942, p =.33). The ratio of XO to Hsp70 was significantly higher in Type D patients with CHF as compared with non-Type D patients (6.14 versus 2.83, p =.03, d = 0.39), independent of etiology class. CONCLUSION: CHF patients with Type D personality are characterized by an increased oxidative stress burden, apparent in the decreased antioxidant levels and an increased oxidative stress ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-980
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic heart failure
  • DNA damage
  • Depression
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Oxidative stress
  • Type D personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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