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Journal Article

Personality and all-cause mortality: individual-participant meta-analysis of 3,947 deaths in 76,150 adults

Authors

Publication date

2013

Summary

Personality may influence the risk of death, but the evidence remains inconsistent. We examined associations between personality traits of the five-factor model (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) and the risk of death from all causes through individual-participant meta-analysis of 76,150 participants from 7 cohorts (the British Household Panel Survey, 2006–2009; the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, 2005–2010; the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, 2006–2010; the US Health and Retirement Study, 2006–2010; the Midlife in the United States Study, 1995–2004; and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study's graduate and sibling samples, 1993–2009). During 444,770 person-years at risk, 3,947 participants (54.4% women) died (mean age at baseline = 50.9 years; mean follow-up = 5.9 years). Only low conscientiousness—reflecting low persistence, poor self-control, and lack of long-term planning—was associated with elevated mortality risk when taking into account age, sex, ethnicity/nationality, and all 5 personality traits. Individuals in the lowest tertile of conscientiousness had a 1.4 times higher risk of death (hazard ratio = 1.37, 95% confidence interval: 1.18, 1.58) compared with individuals in the top 2 tertiles. This association remained after further adjustment for health behaviors, marital status, and education. In conclusion, of the higher-order personality traits measured by the five-factor model, only conscientiousness appears to be related to mortality risk across populations.

Published in

American Journal of Epidemiology

Volume and page numbers

178 , 667 -675

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwt170

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology and Health

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1640897~S5

Notes

Online in Albert Sloman Library, except current 12 months

#521925


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