• behavioural inhibition system;
  • BIS;
  • long QT syndrome;
  • arrhythmias;
  • stress;
  • temperament


The long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited cardiac disorder that predisposes the mutation carrier to ventricular arrhythmias that can lead to sudden death. The objective of the present study was to replicate the previous finding in terms of stress-related temperament trait, i.e. behavioural inhibition system (BIS).

The study subjects included 583 LQTS mutation carriers (256 symptomatic and 327 asymptomatic) from the Finnish LQTS registry and 79 healthy subjects randomly derived from the population-based sample of the Young Finns Study.

Symptomatic and asymptomatic LQTS mutation carriers did not differ from each other on BIS (3.27 versus 3.24, p > 0.05), whereas LQTS mutation carriers scored higher on BIS than the comparison group derived from the representative population-based sample (3.25 versus 2.99, p = 0.003, η² = 0.014). BIS was significantly higher in women than in men (3.32 versus 3.06, p < 0.001, η² = 0.017).

The results confirm our previous finding of higher stress proneness of LQTS mutation carriers. Their innate stress proneness may have relevance because it increases our understanding on the role of stress in the manifestation of symptoms. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.