Long-term physical health outcomes of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder traits

Michael Morreale, Calliope Holingue, Jack Samuels, Gerald Nestadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is characterized by pervasive and persistent traits including preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control. Relatively little is known about the potential relationship between OCPD traits and physical health. Methods: We investigated the association between OCPD traits and several self-reported medical conditions in 249 individuals followed prospectively from 1981 until 2004/2005 as part of the Epidemiological Catchment Area. Results: The OCPD trait score was inversely related to hypertension in males, in models unadjusted (OR = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.45–0.90) and adjusted (OR = 0.70; 95% CI, 0.47–0.95) for sociodemographic variables. Perfectionism was inversely related to hypertension in the unadjusted models for men (OR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.12–0.89). Indecisiveness was positively associated with heart conditions in adjusted models for women (OR = 3.46; 95% CI, 1.11–10.52). Conclusion: OCPD traits are associated with cardiovascular health in both sexes. Further studies are needed to understand the specificity of these relationships, as well as to determine the underlying mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2626-2637
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • cardiovascular health
  • epidemiologic catchment area (ECA) study
  • hypertension
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • perfectionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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