Prevalence and Determinants of Cardiac Personality Tendencies: An Assessment of Type A Behavioural Patterns Among Youths in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Background: Deaths from hypertension, stroke, heart attacks (CHD) are on the increase in Sub Sahara Africa including Nigeria. Type- A behavioral pattern or Type- A personality also called cardiac personality, is associated with heart disease, self-made stress, unintentional injury, anxiety and depression. It is characterized by: time-urgency, anger, hostility, competitiveness, irritation e t c. Therefore, reducing levels of type- A tendencies may help to reduce and prevent severity of heart disease, and improve quality of life of suffers.
Objectives: To identify Type- A personalities in a population of undergraduate medical students.
To assess prevalence rates of Type- A tendencies among male and female students. To recommend strategies to reduce levels of Type A behavioral patterns (TABP) in a stress-prone population of medical students.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive, total population study was carried out among 120 second year medical students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria. Participants were administered, 14-item questionnaire assessing type- A behavior tendencies. All the second year medical students receiving lectures in Behavioral Sciences, participated in the study, and response rate totaled 82.7 percent.
Results: Both descriptive and inferential statistics were performed on the data using SPSS software version 15. Results indicate that the total prevalence rate of cardiac personality tendencies among participants was 52.5 percent-- 23.9 percent had mild tendencies, 18.2 percent had moderate and 10.4 severe tendencies. More male participants (55.7 percent) had higher levels of cardiac personality tendencies than their female counter-parts (48 percent). Though this difference was not significant (X=0.297, p=0.585), using qui-square statistics.
Conclusion/Recommendation: Type A behavioural pattern was highly prevalent among undergraduate medical students of Ahmadu Bello University (A B U), Zaria, Nigeria. There is need for early detection, modification and management of risk factors and tendencies to prevent heart disease and improve psychological health.