Personality Linked to Health

Your personality might determine your risk of deadly diseases like heart disease and cancer, and your ability to fight off flu and cold germs— according to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) led by Steven Cole. Highly conscientious and organized people, for example, have lower levels of inflammation, which decreases the immune system’s ability to fight germs. Extroverts, in contrast, show higher levels of inflammation, which boosts immune function but increases the risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Immune function might also help shape personality. People who get frequent colds and flu release chemicals called cytokines, which can sap energy levels and trigger depression and withdrawal. Extroverts should be particularly diligent about exercise and weight control because of the long-term effects of chronic inflammation. (NewScientist, January 24, 2015)

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