Calm and Easy-Going People Are Less Likely to Develop Dementia

Jan 21, 2009
Can certain personality traits affect our health? Swedish scientists claim that calm and outgoing people are at lower risk of developing dementia.

The study conducted by Dr Hui-Xin Wang, from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden revealed that some people are more inclined to have dementia. The study that lasted for 6 years included 506 participants who did not have dementia. At the end of the study researchers reported that 144 people developed dementia.

Scientists used the personality questionnaire to determine the levels of neuroticism, extraversion and how easily they become stressed. In general, high neuroticism means that an individual is emotionally unstable, gets easily irritated and have negative attitude. Otherwise, people with low neuroticism are emotionally stable. Extraverted people are easy-going, sociable and open, while introverts are more reserved and less outgoing.

The study also analyzed the peculiarities of one's lifestyle, such as social network and social activity of an individual.

The findings showed that calm and outgoing people have the lowest chances of developing dementia. It was also revealed that low neuroticism plays a greater role as socially isolated people with low neuroticism (in other words calm) are also less likely to develop dementia.

Scientists say that this may mean that one of the best ways to protect people from dementia is to become more socially active. However, further studies are needed to determine the link between personality characteristics, lifestyle and risk of dementia.