Neurotic people live longer, study says
Psychological tests currently classify a person's personality through five traits, called Big Five: extroversion, neuroticism, conscience, friendliness and openness to new experiences. Experts say that presenting a high degree of neuroticism means that the individual spends more time worrying about everyday situations, in addition to being more pessimistic and easily irritated.
According to new research, neurotic people may have unexpected benefits, such as a lifetime longer. However, the connection between behavior and longer life expectancy will depend on what kind of neurotic the person is and how he describes his or her health. The study was conducted by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with University College London.
For the research, the team analyzed a database of 500,000 UK residents aged 37-73. The researchers found indicators of personality testing, their diet, their exercise habits, whether they smoked or drank, their socioeconomic status, their cognitive function, and overall health. The results show that neurotics tended to do good self-assessments worse than the average person, reporting having a medium or poor health. When the researchers related this to the data collected, they noticed that neurotic people live longer and have lower chances of suffering premature death. However, neurotics who said they had excellent or good health remained at a disadvantage.
According to the scientists, only neurosis that made people more worried and vulnerable was associated with a lower mortality risk, regardless of how participants described their health. One theory of the authors is that neurotics feel sick more often and probably so they go to the doctor.
However, new analyzes need to be performed to substantiate this hypothesis, but, according to the researchers, the fact that these people are more concerned they tend to take better care of their own health. In this way, they are more likely to diagnose serious diseases early, increasing the probability of treatment and cure.
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