Abstract

In 1960–1961, 3, 154 healthy, middle-aged men were entered into the Western Collaborative Group Study, a long-term study of coronary heart disease. A 22-year mortality follow-up of this cohort in 1982–1983 accounted for almost 99% of the cohort, and determined that 214 of the men had died of coronary heart disease. The risk of coronary heart disease mortality was studied for several variables measured at baseline, i.e., Type A/B behavior, systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol level, cigarette smoking status, and age. Using a proportional hazards regression model, systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol level, cigarette smoking status, and age were highly significant predictors (p > 0.001) of 22-year coronary heart disease mortality. Type A/B behavior showed no association with 22-year coronary heart disease mortality (standardized relative hazard (SRH) = 0.98, 95% confidence Interval (Cl) = 0.85-1.12). Systolic Wood pressure, serum cholesterol, and age showed relatively consistent positive associations with coronary heart disease mortality over four successive time intervals after the baseline examination. Cigarette smoking showed a significant positive association in the first and second intervals and a nonsignificant positive association in the third and fourth intervals. Type A/B behavior was positively but not significantly associated with coronary heart disease in the first and third intervals, significantly negatively associated (SRH = 0.70, 95% Cl = 0.53–0.93) in the second Interval and not associated in the fourth interval. The results confirm the importance of the traditional coronary heart disease risk factors, and raise a substantial question about the importance of Type A/B behavior as a risk factor for coronary heart disease mortality.

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