Psychiatry Investig.  2015 Apr;12(2):197-203. 10.4306/pi.2015.12.2.197.

The Relationship between Type D Personality and Heart Rate Variability in Community Mental Health Center Users

  • 1Korea University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Guro Community Mental Health Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Guro Public Health Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Type D personality can be regarded as a promising cardiovascular risk marker that has been repeatedly linked to relevant indicators of mental health, quality of life, morbidity, and mortality in cardiac patients. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive technology that can provide information regarding a patient's sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and the control mechanisms of the autonomic systems in the cardiovascular system. As both type D personality and HRV are parameters related to the cardiovascular system, we assumed a relationship between type D personality and HRV. This study set out to identify the relationship between type D and HRV and the differences in HRV variables between type D and non-type D personalities.
Patients who visited Guro Community Mental Health Center from January 2011 to December 2012 were surveyed. They were evaluated using both the Korean version of the Type D Personality-14 for type D personality and HRV. During the survey, those who reported major cardiovascular disease that can affect heart rate variability were excluded from the study.
Our analysis included 559 participants, 249 of whom were classified as type D personality. No significant differences were found in the HRV variables between the type D group and the non-type D group. There were also no clinically meaningful correlations between HRV variables and type D total/subscale scores when controlled for patient age.
A relationship between HRV and type D personality was not identified using short-term HRV measurements in non-clinical patients with no definitive cardiovascular disease. Further studies using long-term HRV measurements in patients with cardiovascular disease are necessary to conclude an association between HRV and type D personality.


Type D personality; Heart rate variability; Cardiovascular disease; Autonomic instability; Short-term measurement

MeSH Terms

Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular System
Heart Rate*
Mental Health*
Quality of Life
Type D Personality*
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