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Neuroticism has never been a celebrated trait in our society, exactly. But if you find yourself worrying and obsessing more often than not, here's a reason to jump for joy: A large U.K. study found that neurotic people may live longer.
For the study, researchers in the U.K. collected data for over half a million U.K. residents between the ages of 37 and 73 over a four-year period. The study participants were evaluated based on their self-reported health, neuroticism, and behaviors like smoking, diet, exercise, and drinking as well as BMI, blood pressure, cognitive function, and more.
What did they find? People who rated their health poorly also had higher levels of neuroticism, and they tended to outlive the non-neurotic people. And study author Catharine R. Gale of the University of Edinburgh thinks this is mostly related to more visits to the doctor. "The only thing we could think of was whether people were more vigilant about their health," she explained. "Perhaps they saw their doctor more regularly when they had symptoms they were worried about, and that might lead to earlier diagnoses of serious illnesses, particularly in the case of cancer."
Want to live longer? Here are five personality traits of people who live long, healthy lives.