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Does personality predict mortality? Results from the GAZEL French prospective cohort study.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Majority of studies on personality and physical health have focused on one or two isolated personality traits. We aim to test the independent association of 10 personality traits, from three major conceptual models, with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the French GAZEL cohort. METHODS: A total of 14 445 participants, aged 39-54 in 1993, completed the personality questionnaires composed of the Bortner Type-A scale, the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (for total, neurotic and reactive hostility) and the Grossarth-Maticek-Eysenck Personality Stress Inventory that assesses six personality types [cancer-prone, coronary heart disease (CHD)-prone, ambivalent, healthy, rational, anti-social]. The association between personality traits and mortality, during a mean follow-up of 12.7 years, was assessed using the Relative Index of Inequality (RII) in Cox regression. RESULTS: In models adjusted for age, sex, marital status and education, all-cause and cause-specific mortality were predicted by 'total hostility', its 'neurotic hostility' component as well as by 'CHD-prone', 'ambivalent' 'antisocial', and 'healthy' personality types. After mutually adjusting personality traits for each other, only high 'neurotic hostility' remained a robust predictor of excess mortality from all causes [RII = 2.62; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.68-4.09] and external causes (RII = 3.24; 95% CI = 1.03-10.18). 'CHD-prone' (RII = 2.23; 95% CI = 0.72-6.95) and 'anti-social' (RII = 2.13; 95% CI 0.61-6.58) personality types were associated with cardiovascular mortality and with mortality from external causes, respectively, but CIs were wider. Adjustment for potential behavioural mediators had only a modest effect on these associations. CONCLUSIONS: Neurotic hostility, CHD-prone personality and anti-social personality were all predictive of mortality outcomes. Further research is required to determine the precise mechanisms that contribute to these associations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 4:25:36 PM
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Hermann Nabi, Mika Kivimäki, Marie Zins, Marko Elovainio, Silla M. Consoli, et al.. Does personality predict mortality? Results from the GAZEL French prospective cohort study.. International Journal of Epidemiology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2008, 37 (2), pp.386-96. ⟨10.1093/ije/dyn013⟩. ⟨inserm-00257304⟩



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