Open Access Open Badges Research article

Type A personality, hostility, time urgency and unintentional injuries among Chinese undergraduates: a matched case–control study

Hongying Shi12, Xinjun Yang2, Jingjing Wang2, Haiyang Xi2, Chenping Huang2, Jincai He3, Maoping Chu4 and Guihua Zhuang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China

2 Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Environmental Science and Public Health, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325035, China

3 Department of Psychology, School of Environmental Science and Public Health, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325035, China

4 The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, No.2, Fu Xue Road, Wenzhou 325000, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1066  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1066

Published: 12 November 2013



Associations between type A behaviour pattern (TABP) and injuries are inconsistent. These inconsistencies may be due to different effects of various components of TABP, namely time urgency/impatience, hostility and competitive drive. It is important to examine the relationship between the global TABP, its two components, and unintentional injuries, among undergraduates in China.


On the basis of a previous cross-sectional study, we conducted a matched case–control study. 253 cases and an equal number of age-, gender-, and major-matched controls were included. The questionnaire solicited socio-demographic information, the experience of injuries, the scale of TABP, and other potential confounding factors. Besides the correlation between the global TABP and injuries, the influences of the two components of TABP on injuries were also evaluated. Conditional logistic regression was used to determine the crude odds ratios (ORs) and adjusted ORs of injury events.


A dose–response relationship was apparent among students who rated themselves higher on the TABP scale (P-value for trend, 0.002), with a crude OR of 2.93 (95% CI: 0.93–9.19) for injuries comparing those with TABP to those with type B behaviour pattern (TBBP). After adjustment for potential confounding factors, TABP remained statistically significant, and the adjusted OR was 5.52 (95% CI: 1.43–21.27); from a comparison of students with TABP to those with TBBP. A dose–response relationship was also apparent between the hostility component and nonfatal injuries, both in crude analysis and after adjusting for other confounders. The relationship between time-hurry and injuries was not statistically significant, based on univariate and multivariate analyses.


Both the global TABP and the hostility component were associated with a dose response increase in the risk of non-fatal unintentional injuries among Chinese undergraduates. Further studies need to be conducted to confirm or reject this correlation.