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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 May;16(5):399-405. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181662ac9. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Personality and all-cause mortality among older adults dwelling in a Japanese community: a five-year population-based prospective cohort study.

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  • 1Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.



Personality is an important factor in determining longevity. It has been reported that some personality traits can affect mortality via health-related behaviors, engaging in social interactions, and a tendency to experience negative emotions. The authors examined the relationships between five major domains of personality traits and all-cause mortality among Japanese community-dwelling elderly.


A 5-year prospective cohort study design with mortality surveillance.


Community based.


A total sample of 486 men and 742 women aged 65 years and over at the baseline.


The NEO five-factor inventory was administered to assess the "big five" personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.


During the 5-year follow-up period, 127 persons (73 men and 54 women) died. In Cox multivariate proportional hazards models adjusted for gender, age, number of years of education, living alone, presence of psychiatric problems, and presence of chronic diseases, conscientiousness (risk ratio [RR] = 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33-0.76 and RR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.29 to 0.71, for the middle and highest tertiles, respectively), extraversion (RR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.37 to 0.92, for the highest tertile), and openness (RR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.41 to 0.96, for the middle tertile) were independently and inversely associated with all-cause mortality. Neither neuroticism nor agreeableness was related to mortality.


Our results suggest that out of the five domains of personality traits, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness are reliable predictors of all-cause mortality among community-dwelling elderly.

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