Five Factor Model Personality Traits and All-Cause Mortality in the Edinburgh Artery Study Cohort

Michelle D. Taylor, Martha C. Whiteman, Gerald R. Fowkes, Amanda Jane Lee, Michael Allerhand, Ian J. Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether personality traits are related to all-cause mortality in a general adult population in Scotland. Methods: The Edinburgh Artery Study began in 1987 to 1988 by recruiting 1592 men and women aged 55 to 74 years to be followed-up for atherosclerotic diseases. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) was completed by 1035 surviving participants in 1995 to 1996. Deaths from all causes were examined in relation to personality traits and social and physical risk factors for mortality. Results: During follow-up, 242 (37.1%) men and 165 (24.6%) women died. For the whole sample, there was a 28% lower rate of all-cause mortality for each 1 SD increase in NEO-FFI openness (95% CI, 0.61-0.84) and a 18% lower rate of all-cause mortality for each I SD increase in NEO-FFI conscientiousness (95% CI, 0.70-0.97). In men, the risk of all-cause mortality was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.5-10.78) for a 1 SD increase in openness and 0.75 (95% CI, 0.61-0.91) for a 1 SD increase in conscientiousness. In women, none of the personality domains were significantly associated with all-cause mortality. Well fitting structural equation models in men (n = 652) showed that the relationships between conscientiousness and openness and all-cause mortality were not substantially explained by smoking, or other variables in the models. Conclusion: High conscientiousness and openness may be protective against all-cause mortality in men. Further investigations are needed on the mechanisms of these associations, and the influence of personality traits on specific causes of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages11
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume71
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • personality
  • Five-Factor Model
  • all-cause mortality
  • cohort
  • mental survey 1932
  • general-population
  • health behaviors
  • older persons
  • childhood IQ
  • disease
  • conscientiousness
  • longevity
  • openess
  • life

Cite this

Five Factor Model Personality Traits and All-Cause Mortality in the Edinburgh Artery Study Cohort. / Taylor, Michelle D.; Whiteman, Martha C.; Fowkes, Gerald R.; Lee, Amanda Jane; Allerhand, Michael; Deary, Ian J.

In: Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 71, No. 6, 2009, p. 631-641.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Taylor, Michelle D. ; Whiteman, Martha C. ; Fowkes, Gerald R. ; Lee, Amanda Jane ; Allerhand, Michael ; Deary, Ian J. / Five Factor Model Personality Traits and All-Cause Mortality in the Edinburgh Artery Study Cohort. In: Psychosomatic Medicine. 2009 ; Vol. 71, No. 6. pp. 631-641.
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abstract = "Objective: To examine whether personality traits are related to all-cause mortality in a general adult population in Scotland. Methods: The Edinburgh Artery Study began in 1987 to 1988 by recruiting 1592 men and women aged 55 to 74 years to be followed-up for atherosclerotic diseases. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) was completed by 1035 surviving participants in 1995 to 1996. Deaths from all causes were examined in relation to personality traits and social and physical risk factors for mortality. Results: During follow-up, 242 (37.1{\%}) men and 165 (24.6{\%}) women died. For the whole sample, there was a 28{\%} lower rate of all-cause mortality for each 1 SD increase in NEO-FFI openness (95{\%} CI, 0.61-0.84) and a 18{\%} lower rate of all-cause mortality for each I SD increase in NEO-FFI conscientiousness (95{\%} CI, 0.70-0.97). In men, the risk of all-cause mortality was 0.63 (95{\%} CI, 0.5-10.78) for a 1 SD increase in openness and 0.75 (95{\%} CI, 0.61-0.91) for a 1 SD increase in conscientiousness. In women, none of the personality domains were significantly associated with all-cause mortality. Well fitting structural equation models in men (n = 652) showed that the relationships between conscientiousness and openness and all-cause mortality were not substantially explained by smoking, or other variables in the models. Conclusion: High conscientiousness and openness may be protective against all-cause mortality in men. Further investigations are needed on the mechanisms of these associations, and the influence of personality traits on specific causes of death.",
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AB - Objective: To examine whether personality traits are related to all-cause mortality in a general adult population in Scotland. Methods: The Edinburgh Artery Study began in 1987 to 1988 by recruiting 1592 men and women aged 55 to 74 years to be followed-up for atherosclerotic diseases. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) was completed by 1035 surviving participants in 1995 to 1996. Deaths from all causes were examined in relation to personality traits and social and physical risk factors for mortality. Results: During follow-up, 242 (37.1%) men and 165 (24.6%) women died. For the whole sample, there was a 28% lower rate of all-cause mortality for each 1 SD increase in NEO-FFI openness (95% CI, 0.61-0.84) and a 18% lower rate of all-cause mortality for each I SD increase in NEO-FFI conscientiousness (95% CI, 0.70-0.97). In men, the risk of all-cause mortality was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.5-10.78) for a 1 SD increase in openness and 0.75 (95% CI, 0.61-0.91) for a 1 SD increase in conscientiousness. In women, none of the personality domains were significantly associated with all-cause mortality. Well fitting structural equation models in men (n = 652) showed that the relationships between conscientiousness and openness and all-cause mortality were not substantially explained by smoking, or other variables in the models. Conclusion: High conscientiousness and openness may be protective against all-cause mortality in men. Further investigations are needed on the mechanisms of these associations, and the influence of personality traits on specific causes of death.

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KW - disease

KW - conscientiousness

KW - longevity

KW - openess

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