Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are You Orderly? Imaginative? How Personality Affects Health


A young adult's personality may hold clues to his or her health later in life, so perhaps doctors should assess their patients' personalities during checkups, a new study says.

In the study, people who were more conscientious — a personality trait that indicates a tendency to be self-disciplined and orderly — at age 26 were in better health 12 years later than people who were less disciplined.

Among those who were the least conscientious as young adults, 45 percent went on to develop health problems by age 38, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and gum disease, while just 18 percent of the most conscientious people developed one of these health problems, said study researcher Salomon Israel, of Duke University. [10 Fitness Apps: Which Is Best for Your Personality?

Another personality trait, called "openness to experience," was also linked with better health later in life. 

People who score high in this personality trait tend to be curious, imaginative and prefer variety to routine.

The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect a person's health, such as socioeconomic status, weight and smoking habits, according to the study.

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