A University of Iowa study finds letting a smile be your umbrella could save your life, or at least prolong it. The research focused on the personalities of patients with chronic kidney disease. Lead investigator, U-of-I psychology professor Alan Christensen, says those patients who tended to be highly conscientious, goal directed and dependable were 36-point-4 percent less likely to die over a four-year period. It also found that people who were prone to depressed moods, pessimism and excessive worrying were 37-point-5 percent more likely than the average patient to die.Professor Christensen says the research offers the first strong connection between personality and mortality among the chronically ill. He says doctors should be able to use information about how their patients’ personalities may put them at risk, to judge how closely they need to be monitored and how aggressively to treat them.The study is published as the lead article in the July issue of the journal Health Psychology.
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