A retrospective study of behavioural changes in 493 consecutive patients who had survived a first acute myocardial infarction was carried out. The changes in behaviour that were studied related to smoking, physical activity, and weight loss. The personalities of the patients were also studied by means of the Eysenck personality inventory to find out if there was any relationship between the personality factors, extroversion and neuroticism, and the changes in behaviour. Sixty-six per cent of the men and 59% of the women reduced or stopped smoking, 60% of the men and 81% of the women reduced their physical activity, and 67% of the men and 56% of the women lost weight. Some significant associations were found between these changes and the medical advice given, the patients' views of the value of the change in behaviour, and the severity of the illness. Personality factors as assessed were not associated with any of the observed changes, except in the case of physical activity. Those who increased or decreased their physical activity had a significantly higher mean neuroticism score than those who did not change their behaviour in this respect.
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