TitlePersonality and all-cause mortality: individual-participant meta-analysis of 3,947 deaths in 76,150 adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJokela, M, Batty, GD, Nyberg, ST, Virtanen, M, Nabi, H, Singh-Manoux, A, Kivimäki, M
JournalAm J Epidemiol
Volume178
Issue5
Pagination667-75
Date Published2013 Sep 01
ISSN1476-6256
KeywordsAge Factors, Anxiety Disorders, Cohort Studies, Extraversion (Psychology), Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mortality, Neuroticism, Personality, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors
Abstract

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.

DOI10.1093/aje/kwt170
Alternate JournalAm. J. Epidemiol.
PubMed ID23911610
PubMed Central IDPMC3755650
Grant ListRG/13/2/30098 / / British Heart Foundation / United Kingdom
R01 HL036310 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
K013351 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
R01 AG034454 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
MR/K026992/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
P01 AG020166 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01AG034454 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01HL036310 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States