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30-10-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Being amenable and outgoing linked to reduced diabetes risk

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Men who tend to be agreeable as opposed to antagonistic have a reduced risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, report Swedish researchers.

In addition, being of an extravert nature is associated with reduced risk for developing abnormal glucose regulation in both men and women, they say.

"According to the Five Factor Model, personality is composed of five major personality domains or traits, namely: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness," write Anna-Karin Eriksson (Karolinska Instituet, Stockholm) and team.

"Higher or lower scores than normal for any of these traits could hypothetically imply modified disease risk through more, or less, frequent experience of stress, or altered stress responses," they explain.

As reported in the Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, the researchers used the Health-relevant Personality 5-factor Inventory (Hp5i) to study traits among 2152 men and 3143 women participating in the follow-up study of the SDDP (Stockholm Diabetes Prevention Program).

Men with low scores, defined as values more than 1 standard deviation (SD) below mean on the Hp5i antagonism scale (indicating high agreeableness), had a 70% reduced risk for developing abnormal glucose regulation compared with men who had mid-range scores, at an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.3.

No such risk reduction was seen among men who had high (>1 SD above-mean) scores for antagonism (OR=0.9).

The authors propose that individuals scoring low on a hostility instrument may express a lower neuroendocrine stress response, which might protect from developing diabetes.

The study also revealed that men and women with high scores on the Hp5i hedonic capacity scale (indicating high extraversion) showed 50% and 40% decreased risks, respectively, for developing abnormal glucose regulation.

"Hedonic capacity encompasses 'positive emotionality' and reflects the ability to enjoy and be enthusiastic about everyday life," say the authors, but "the lower range of the scale, on the other hand signals low mood, disengagement, and hopelessness."

"Future prospectively designed studies may further evaluate if differences with regard to personality have a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes or if certain personality characteristics could be useful as risk markers to identify high-risk groups," conclude Eriksson et al.

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sally Robertson

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