Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Type A behaviour and ischaemic heart disease in middle aged British men.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 11 July 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:86
  1. D W Johnston,
  2. D G Cook,
  3. A G Shaper


    The Bortner questionnaire, which measures aspects of type A (coronary prone) behaviour was completed by 5936 men aged 40-59 selected at random from one general practice in each of 19 British towns. The presence of ischaemic heart disease was determined at initial examination and the men were followed up for an average of 6.2 years for morbidity and mortality from myocardial infarction and for sudden cardiac death. Non-manual workers had significantly higher scores (more type A) than manual workers and the score decreased (less type A) with increasing age. After adjustment for social class and age men with higher scores had higher prevalences of ischaemic heart disease less marked for electrocardiographic evidence and more marked for response to a chest pain questionnaire (angina or possible myocardial infarction). A man's recall of a doctor's diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease, however, did not relate to his Bortner score. There was no significant relation between the Bortner score and the attack rate or incidence of major ischaemic heart disease events. In this study type A behaviour, as measured by the Bortner questionnaire, did not predict major ischaemic heart disease events in British middle aged men.