Sex Roles

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 755–774

The role of masculinity in a prognostic predictor of heart attack severity

  • Vicki S. Helgeson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00292059

Cite this article as:
Helgeson, V.S. Sex Roles (1990) 22: 755. doi:10.1007/BF00292059


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States for both men and women. Men, however, are more likely that women to suffer from CHD at all ages. While previous research has linked Type A behavior to CHD, investigators have failed to note the role traditional masculinity plays in the development of that behavior pattern and in the development of other psychosocial risk factors for CHD. In the present study, 90 postmyocardial infarction patients were interviewed shortly before hospital discharge. The masculinity-CHD relationship was hypothesized to be mediated by masculinity's link to Type A behavior, poor health practices, and impaired social networks. Masculinity, along with these mediating variables, was then expected to be related to the Peel prognostic indicator of heart attack severity. Results indicated that negative or extreme masculinity was related to each of the mediating variables and to heart attack severity, but the effect of masculinity on heart attack severity was not mediated by Type A behavior, poor health practices, or impaired social networks.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki S. Helgeson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos Angeles