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 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 227
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113151
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Alexithymia, TAS-20, Body mass index, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Blood pressure, FATTY LIVER-DISEASE, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, DIMENSIONALITY, PERSONALITY, PREVALENCE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


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.