Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Personality Typology in the Health Field

The article excerpted below is "deja vu all over again" for me. It starts out with a respectful mention of the old "type A" hypothesis about what personality type is most associated with heart disease. That shows how slow people are to learn from the evidence. The association between Type A personality and heart disease is simply not usually found. The hypothesis is a failed one. The measure used to detect a Type A was the JAS, which is psychometrically ludicrous, so its repeated failure to give the expected prediction is no surprise.

I did rather a lot of original research on the topic in the '80s, which you can find here

Bsically, all the "types" associated with cancer and heart disease suffered from over-inclusiveness. They combined into one several different personality traits. And if you de-confounded the set of traits you got better results.

I found, for instance, in my research that if you took just one of the components of Type A, which I called "freneticsm" you got both a more unidimensional trait and one which DID predict heart disease to some degree. The items of the new Freneticism scale are here

I am not aware of any follow-up on that by other authors but that is typical of the field. Nobody ever seems to learn anything from the overall body of research. Exciting bits are all that get attention

The most persuasive paper on personality and heart disease is probably the one by Eysenck, wherein he summarises the results of his collaboration with Grossarth-Maticek. At least some of Grossarth-Maticek's measures were however also rather poor psychometrically so some reservations about the results have to be held.

Temoshok and her colleagues expanded on Friedman and Rosenman’s idea of a “Type C” behavior pattern. Whereas Type B is the absence of Type A characteristics, they proposed that the Type C behavior pattern was constructed to be the polar opposite of Type A. These were hypothesized to exist on a spectrum, with Type A on one end, and Type C on the other.

According to Temsok and her colleagues, people conforming to a Type C behavior pattern are characterized as cooperative, patient, and unassertive. They suppress negative emotions, including anger, and comply with authorities. They may also feel helpless, hopeless, and with tendencies toward depression.

People with Type C personalities have a number of strengths. They are typically calm with a consistent and controlled demeanor. They tend to be creative and cooperate easily with others. They can be dedicated to their projects, helpful, and thoughtful about planning for the future.

However, they can also be resistant to conflict, which can sometimes turn into emotional repression. They can also be prone to perfectionism, anxiety, pessimism, or even depression. They have a tendency to defer their own needs to the needs of others.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a Type C personality, it may come with an increased risk of some health issues.

And one of them could be cancer.

Repressed Emotions and Cancer

In a study in the European Journal of Personality, Hans Eysenck and colleagues sought to determine whether personality types might predict deaths from heart disease and cancer. They gave 3,235 European subjects interviews and personality assessments to determine various personality traits. Then they tracked these subjects over the course of 10 years.

At the end of the 10-year period, the subjects were contacted again. If they had died, the researchers reviewed the cause of their death from their death certificates. In that way, the research team was able to connect personality traits with the ultimate cause of death.

At the 10-year follow-up, they found that 1,341 individuals from their original sample had died. These they categorized into different personality types based on their earlier personality assessments.

They found that 45 percent of those with what these researchers called “Type I” personality traits (similar to Temshok’s Type C behavior pattern in that they inhibit emotions) died of cancer. This group was much less likely to die of other causes, like heart disease.

Similarly, people that Eysenck categorized as “Type II” (which is similar to Temshok’s Type A behavior pattern of people with high stress) were much more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. They also found that people with other patterns of personality were less likely to die from either cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

Eysenck’s study suggests that the only relevant personality characteristics for cancer risk are repressing feelings or inhibiting closeness with loved ones.

Other research suggests it’s a tendency towards depressive symptoms that matter most.

For example, one systematic review and meta-analysis of 25 studies that together included over 1.4 million participants found a significant association between depression and overall cancer risk. Tendencies toward depression make up an important part of what we call the Type C personality.

Similarly, another review of 70 longitudinal prospective studies on personality research found that helplessness and repression of emotions are perhaps the most promising in explaining a potential contribution of personality on cancer prognosis.

People with Type C personalities also tend to be cooperative. Social support—having a strong network of family and close friends—was found to be a protective factor against this type of Cancer. Some aspects of Type C personality may actually foster health.

So rather than it being a Type C behavior pattern that’s associated with cancer, it may actually be a few traits within that pattern that matter most.

Does Personality Influence Cancer Risk?

If there really is an influence of personality on cancer risk, how would that work? What’s the physical mechanism?

One explanation is that people who often feel depressed have decreased lymphocyte proliferation and an overall decreased function in the body’s anti-cancer and anti-viral immunity. This may create greater susceptibility to cancer.

Indeed, in one prospective case-control study out of Finland, researchers found that patients with breast cancer were significantly more likely to have a high commitment—a feature of Type C personalities.

They suggest that it could be that the Type C pattern “could contribute to cancer risk through immune and hormonal pathways.” In other words, it may not be the personality traits themselves that affect cancer risk, but that patterns of thinking and behavior could impact the body’s immune system and hormones, and those changes may influence cancer risk.


Doctor Turns Against Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccines, Calls for Global Pause

A doctor who promoted COVID-19 vaccines is now calling for health authorities around the world to pause the administration of two of the most-widely utilized COVID-19 vaccines, saying that the benefits from the vaccines may not outweigh the risks.

“There is more than enough evidence—I would say the evidence is overwhelming—to pause the rollout of the vaccine,” Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist and evidence-based medicine expert, told The Epoch Times.

A paper from Malhotra detailing the evidence was published on Sept. 26.

Among the citations is a recent reanalysis of the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials that concluded that vaccinated trial participants were at higher risk of serious adverse events. He called the study a “smoking gun.”

Malhotra also pointed to the lack of reduction in mortality or severe disease in the trials, which were completed in 2020.

Taking into account death rates and other figures since then, the number of people who need to be vaccinated to prevent a single COVID-19 death ranges from 93,000 for people aged 18–29 to 230 for people aged 80 and older, according to an analysis of UK safety and effectiveness data by the Health Advisory & Recovery Team.

The author also noted that serious side effects have been detected after the trials, such as myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation.

Overall, looking at the absolute benefits and drawbacks of the vaccines, it’s time to halt their usage and allow authorities and other experts to closely examine the data to see if the vaccines should be used again down the road, according to Malhotra.

The paper was published in the Journal of Insulin Resistance in two parts following peer review.

Pfizer and Moderna didn’t return requests for comment.

Reversal of Opinion

Malhotra received the Pfizer primary series in January 2021. He became a promoter of the vaccine, even appearing on “Good Morning Britain” to advise Indian film director Gurinder Chadha to get the vaccine. Chadha did so shortly after.

Malhotra said he began digging into vaccine data after his father, Dr. Kailash Chand, suffered a cardiac arrest at home approximately six months after receiving Pfizer’s vaccine.

The post-mortem showed two of Chand’s major arteries were severely blocked, even though Malhotra described his father as a fit person who didn’t have any significant heart problems.

Malhotra began reading about post-vaccination issues, including a study abstract in the journal Circulation that identified a higher risk of a heart attack following vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and a study from Nordic countries that identified a higher risk of myocarditis.

While authorities have claimed that myocarditis is more common after COVID-19 than vaccination, many studies have found otherwise, at least for certain age groups. Some papers have found no increased incidence of heart inflammation for COVID-19 patients.

Malhotra has come to believe that his father’s death was linked to the vaccine.

“I’ve always approached medicine and science with uncertainties because things constantly evolve. And the information I had at the time is completely different to the information I have now,” Malhotra told The Epoch Times. “And in fact, it is my duty and responsibility as the information has changed to act on that information. And that’s what I’m doing.”

Response to Criticism

After the new paper was published, critics noted that Malhotra is a board member of the Journal of Insulin Resistance.

He acknowledged the position but said the article went through an independent peer review process and that he has no financial links to the journal.

The doctor encouraged people to view his publication history, which includes articles in the British Medical Journal and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

He said he chose to submit the paper to the insulin journal for several reasons, including it being “one of the few journals that doesn’t take money from the pharmaceutical industry.”

“I don’t think that there’s any validity to question the integrity of the piece,” he said. “People can argue I’ve got an intellectual bias. We all have intellectual biases, but there’s certainly no financial bias for me.”

Paper Gains Support

Leading scientists say the new paper is important. “We fully believe that vaccines are one of the great discoveries in medicine that has improved life expectancy dramatically, however, mRNA genetic vaccines are different, as long-term safety evaluation is lacking but mandatory to ensure public safety,” Sherif Sultan, president of the International Society of Vascular Surgery, said in a statement.

Sultan also noted that the findings “raise concerns regarding vaccine-induced undetected severe cardiovascular side effects and underscore the established causal relationship between vaccines and myocarditis, a frequent cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in young individuals.”

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Stanford, said that Malhotra “makes a good case that there is considerable heterogeneity across age groups and other comorbid conditions in the expected benefits and expected side effect profiles of the vaccine” and “finds that while there may be a case for older people to take the vaccine because the benefits may outweigh expected harm that may not be the case for younger people.”

Dr. Campbell Murdoch, who advises the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the study “describes multiple systemic failures in the provision of safe and effective evidence-based medicine” and the situation has made it “impossible for patients and the public to make an informed choice about what is best for their health and life.”




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