TitleA questionnaire-wide association study of personality and mortality: the Vietnam Experience Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWeiss, A, Gale, CR, Batty, GD, Deary, IJ
JournalJ Psychosom Res
Date Published2013 Jun
KeywordsAffect, Aged, Alcohol Drinking, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cause of Death, Female, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, MMPI, Personality, Risk Factors, Smoking, Veterans, Vietnam

OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and all-cause mortality in 4462 middle-aged Vietnam-era veterans.

METHODS: We split the study population into half-samples. In each half, we used proportional hazards (Cox) regression to test the 550 MMPI items' associations with mortality over 15years. In all participants, we subjected significant (p<.01) items in both halves to principal-components analysis (PCA). We used Cox regression to test whether these components predicted mortality when controlling for other predictors (demographics, cognitive ability, health behaviors, and mental/physical health).

RESULTS: Eighty-nine items were associated with mortality in both half-samples. PCA revealed Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity, Somatic Complaints, Psychotic/Paranoia, and Antisocial components, and a higher-order component, Personal Disturbance. Individually, Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity (HR=1.55; 95% CI=1.39, 1.72), Somatic Complaints (HR=1.66; 95% CI=1.52, 1.80), Psychotic/Paranoid (HR=1.44; 95% CI=1.32, 1.57), Antisocial (HR=1.79; 95% CI=1.59, 2.01), and Personal Disturbance (HR=1.74; 95% CI=1.58, 1.91) were associated with risk. Including covariates attenuated these associations (28.4 to 54.5%), though they were still significant. After entering Personal Disturbance into models with each component, Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity and Somatic Complaints were significant, although Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity's were now protective (HR=0.73; 95% CI=0.58, 0.92). When the four components were entered together with or without covariates, Somatic Complaints and Antisocial were significant risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Somatic Complaints and Personal Disturbance are associated with increased mortality risk. Other components' effects varied as a function of variables in the model.

Alternate JournalJ Psychosom Res
PubMed ID23731751
PubMed Central IDPMC3697823
Grant ListMC_UP_A620_1015 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_U147585827 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UU_12011/2 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_U147585819 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MR/K026992/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UP_A620_1014 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
G0700704 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
G0400491 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
/ / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom
MC_U147585824 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom