What Your Personality Has To Do With Your Health

The study included 1,037 people from a New Zealand study who were born between 1972 and 1973 and were followed by researchers until they were age 38. When the participants were age 26, their personalities were assessed by having a person close to them describe them with the "Big Five" personality traits. Their personalities were again assessed when they were age 32, but at this time point, they were evaluated by a clinical receptionist or nurse (even though the nurse and receptionist weren't aware of the point of the study, their assessments of the participants' personalities was similar to the ones given by the close family/friends). Then, the participants underwent physical exams at age 38 to check blood pressure, liver and kidney functioning, vascular inflammation, lung and heart fitness and periodontal disease. Researchers found associations between personality and health at age 38. Just 18 percent of the people who were the most conscientious in the study developed health problems -- such as inflammation, hypertension, overweight and high cholesterol -- at age 38, compared with 45 percent of the least conscientious people. Interestingly, researchers did not find an association between neuroticism -- which has been linked in past studies with health problems -- and poor health at age 38, though high neuroticism study participants were more likely to self-rate their health as poorer later in life. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/13/personality-health-conscientious_n_4941810.html