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 the personality in patients with thyroid auto-immune diseases to validate potential links between auto-immune disease and Type A.
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 thyroiditis).
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).
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 autoimmune 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 to consider that could influence the diabetes self-care coping strategies and long-term prognosis.