23:26 GMT24 October 2020
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    Scientists at Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE) have investigated the relations between the life path characteristics of people with different personality types and the development of cardiovascular diseases in elderly people.

    The study will help develop an optimal therapeutic strategy for patients, as well as increase their active lifespan. The study results were published in Psychology and Psychotechnics magazine. 

    Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of mortality in most countries, including Russia. According to scientists, studying and controlling psychological factors that affect the occurrence and course of these diseases can help reduce mortality and increase the active period of people’s lives.

    Today, along with general ones, specialists single out individual and personal prerequisites for cardiovascular diseases, depending on a person’s occupation. The MSUPE scientists have made it their goal to identify the influence of individual personality factors on cardiovascular diseases progression in retirement age.

    The researchers used a comprehensive methodology, which includes a questionnaire on the life path, considering occupation, career achievements, individual’s interests and hobbies throughout life and at the moment; as well as analysis of documents (study of medical records); the Dembo-Rubinshtein personality traits self-assessment method modified by MSUPE scientists and methods of mathematical statistics.

    Hobbies were divided into groups: intellectual, creative, sports, and subject (needlework, technical crafts, repairs, etc.). The participants of the study were also asked to evaluate certain features of their personality: activity, aggressiveness, sociability, optimism, caring (the presence of an object of care).

    The study engaged 496 people (110 men and 386 women) over 55 years old, registered with cardiovascular disease.

    The results of the study showed that for worker and technical professions (type “man-machine”), almost all types of activity (communication, determination, pursuing a career) increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and it’s only the development of subject interests and all kinds of technical hobbies, needlework, gardening, cottage, repair, etc. that have a positive effect.

    At the same time, for pensioners from the employee group (type “person-person”), it’s physical education, sports, physical activity that have a positive effect, while optimism and needlework have no effect at all.

    For pensioners who worked with papers and office workers (type “person-sign”), no hobby has any effect; these people are positively affected by professional activities, career growth, and the presence of friends and family.

    “In general, it’s bad habits (drinking alcohol, smoking, overeating), aggressiveness (as a personality trait), and working in the “person-machine” field that affect the contraction, development and severity of cardiovascular diseases in retirement age, while optimism and subject hobbies reduce risks,” Tatyana Berezina, professor at the Department of Scientific Foundations of Extreme Psychology at MMSUPE, said.

    According to experts, gender and age don’t affect the relations of patient’s personality traits and the severity of their cardiovascular diseases. For men and women, as well as for pensioners of different age groups, negative and positive factors basically coincide.

    The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project 18-013-00092A).

    Heart Disease, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), Russia, science
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