Biological correlates of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) in cardiovascular disease and healthy community subjects

Aluja A., Malas O., Urieta P., Worner F., Balada F.

PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR, vol.227, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 227
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113151
  • Title of Journal : PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR
  • Keywords: Alexithymia, TAS-20, Body mass index, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Blood pressure, FATTY LIVER-DISEASE, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, DIMENSIONALITY, PERSONALITY, PREVALENCE


This research studies the relationship between Alexithymia, behavioural, biometric, biochemical and cardiovascular risk in clinical and healthy samples. There were 602 participants (mean age of 52.82 +/- 10.59) divided into two groups. The first was made up of 202 patients (165 males and 37 females) who had suffered a cardiovascular disease (CVD), while the second was composed of 400 (285 males and 115 females) healthy volunteers without CVD diagnosis. A cardiovascular risk index (CRI) was developed with the high factorial loading of the following variables: systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol/HDL, triglycerides, body mass index, glucose and alcohol and tobacco consumption. The results showed a significant correlation between Alexithymia and the CRI. After controlling for age, sex, occupation, alcohol and tobacco consumption, this correlation decreased, but remained significant for most values. Alexithymia predicted 6% of CRI in the entire sample, once age and sex effect were discounted. Alexithymic subjects with scores above a cut-off point set at higher than 60 had higher levels of glucose, systolic, diastolic, cholesterol/HDL and cardiovascular risk. We discuss that Alexithymia scores contribute to cardiovascular risk, supporting previous findings.