Alexithymia has been found to be associated with several somatic illnesses, such as cardiovascular, indicating that it might be a risk factor for early death in the long-term course of post-myocardial infarction. From the cardiology perspective, the aim was to collect current evidence about the relationship between alexithymia and somatic illness.


The literature was synthesized and summarized in a narrative format. The literature search was carried out in PubMed. Pertinent studies published in the last 50 years written in English were included and organized by three main topics (“The relation between alexithymia and somatic illness from the cardiology perspective”; “How do assess alexithymia?”; “Treating alexithymia”) to be discussed.


High alexithymia is a dimensional trait that affects around 10% of the general population and up to 55% of people with essential hypertension. Also, the link between alexithymia and cardiovascular activity has been pointed out. There are several validated tools to assess alexithymia, as well as treatment options.


Knowledge about the main features of alexithymia, as well as its assessment and treatment, can promote a multifactorial approach to the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of cardiac diseases.

Keywords: Alexithymia, Cardiology, Assessment, Cardiovascular rehabilitation, Psychosomatics, Health psychology.
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