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Open access

A Rouland, J-C Chauvet-Gelinier, A-L Sberna, E Crevisy, P Buffier, T Mouillot, J-M Petit and B Vergès

Objective

The Type A personality, characterized by impatience, strong career ambition and competitiveness, is associated with greater sensitivity to external stress. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an auto-immune disease, which is potentially influenced by stress, unlike type 2 diabetes (T2D). The aim of this study was to assess whether individuals with T1D and T2D exhibited significant differences on the Type A personality scale. We also assessed personality in patients with thyroid auto-immune diseases to validate potential links between auto-immune disease and Type A personality.

Design and methods

The Bortner questionnaire was used to assess Type A personality in 188 patients with T1D, 430 patients with T2D and 85 patients with auto-immune thyroid disease (Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).

Results

Type A Bortner scores were significantly higher in T1D patients than in T2D patients (188 ± 34 vs 177 ± 36, P < 0.0001). Patients with auto-immune thyroid diseases and T1D patients had similar Type A Bortner scores (189 ± 33 vs 188 ± 34, P = 0.860).

Conclusion

Patients with auto-immune T1D have higher Type A scores than T2D patients. Furthermore, patients with auto-immune thyroid disease also have elevated Type A scores similar to those observed in type 1 diabetes, suggesting that an elevated Type A score in T1D is potentially related to its auto-immune origin. This suggests a possible link between Type A personality and auto-immune diseases via stress-triggering psychobiological pathways. The different personality score between T1D and T2D is an important factor, which could influence self-care coping strategies in diabetes and long-term prognosis.