Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Mellors, V., Boyle, G. J. & Roberts, L. (1994). Effects of personality stress and lifestyle on hypertension: An Australian twin study. Personality and Individual Differences, 16(6), 967-974

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Copyright © Elsevier Ltd., 1994




This study investigated the association of personality, stress and lifestyle with self-reported hypertension (validated by actual use of antihypertensive medication, and separately by cross-twin reporting). Subjects were 4870 female and 2746 male twins from the 1980-82 Australian Twin Registry. Personality and stress variables were measured by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and the Delusions-Symptoms-States Inventory. Alcohol intake, cigarette consumption and monthly exercise activity represented lifestyle variables.

Hypothesis 1 predicted that predominant personality types among hypertensives are neurotic introverts and extraverts low on psychoticism; Hypothesis 2 predicted that personality and stress are better predictors than lifestyle variables in the genesis of hypertension; Hypothesis 3 predicted that these variables act synergistically. Results showed that neurotic introverts and extraverts low on psychoticism. and high on the Lie scale were prevalent among male hypertensives, while in female hypertensives neurotic introverts low on psychoticism, and high on the Lie scale predominated. Across gender, lifestyle variables were the best predictors. In accord with Hypothesis 3, effects on hypertension were magnified when personality, stress and lifestyle variables acted synergistically.



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