Your personality traits could be linked to your long-term health and to common diseases such as cancer and diabetes, a new study suggests.
Researchers have identified a strong relationship between select personality traits and the development of disease, according to a study published in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science.
The study involved the analysis of data including both longitudinal personality and health data of around 7,000 participants. The data was collected from 2006 as well as from a 2010 follow-up with the participants. There were five specific personality traits that were monitored by the researchers including openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Certain traits were linked to good health and the absence of disease while others were not. Having high levels of the traits extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness were all linked to the better health with conscientiousness standing out as a potential protective factor against disease.
Research has also shown that people who rank high in having the conscientiousness trait seemed to perform better in tests of cardiovascular fitness while participants who had more of the neurotic trait didn’t do as well.
“Longitudinal logistic regression analyses predicting new disease diagnosis suggest that traits are associated with the risk of developing disease—most notably the traits of conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness,” the report concludes.