To explore the associations between alexithymia and increased somatic morbidity. The mechanisms underlying these associations, however, are still unclear. Furthermore, data on the association between alexithymia and mortality are scarce.
A total of 2321 Finnish men, aged 46 to 61 years, were followed up for an average of 20 years. Mortality rates were obtained from the national register. The associations between baseline alexithymia and cardiovascular disease (CVD), all-cause, injury, and cancer deaths were examined with adjustments for age and several behavioral (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity), physiological (low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, history of CVD), and psychosocial (marital status, education, depression) factors.
After all adjustments, the risk of CVD death was increased by 1.2% for each 1-point increase in Toronto Alexithymia Scale-26 scores.
Alexithymia is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality.