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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2004 May;59(3):P110-6.

Personality and mortality in old age.

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Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


We examined the relation of personality to mortality in 883 older Catholic clergy members (69% women). At baseline, they completed the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, which assesses the five principal dimensions of personality. They were followed for a mean of 5.1 years, during which 182 deaths occurred. Risk of death was nearly doubled in those with a high neuroticism score (90th percentile) compared with a low score (10th percentile) and was approximately halved in those with a high conscientiousness score compared with a low score. Findings for extraversion were mixed, and neither agreeableness nor openness was strongly related to mortality. The results suggest that personality is associated with mortality in old age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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