Psychological risk factors in cardiovascular diseases

Abstract
Recent research has shown that psychological risk factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. The so-called coronary prone behaviour pattern predominates, an important part of which is the Type A behaviour pattern. This is characterized by a marked ambition, a constant feeling of being under pressure, due to latent aggression and to a striving to dominate. For cerebrovascular diseases the so-called pressured pattern as a risk factor has been found to be typical which is comparable to the Type A behaviour. Psychological risk factors and their components are not equally important for different vascular diseases. Besides the explanation of the question as to how far psychological processes really are involved in the development of vascular diseases, the research on psychological risk factors serves as a foundation for psychosomatic theories.
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