How Personality Affects Gene Expression And Immune System Function

Health depends on a number of factors — genetics, environment, lifestyle factors, and according to new research, personality might also play a large role in determining health outcomes.

Some research has suggested that personality can play a role in the risk of developing certain physical health problems. Now, a new study has found that personality traits may also be a factor in how well the body fights disease.

Personality traits including extroversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness — all of which are considered to be part of the “big five” personality traits — play an important role in immune system function, according to research recently published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

In a study of 121 healthy participants (with an average age of 24 years old), researchers from the University of Nottingham examined the relationship between these personality traits and patterns of gene expression. The participants filled out personality evaluations, answered questions about their health behaviors. Then, the researchers analyzed their blood samples to examine the activity of 19 different genes involved in inflammatory immune responses.

While extroversion was associated with greater expression of pro-inflammatory genes, conscientiousness was associated with reduced expression of pro-inflammatory genes. This suggests that extroverts are more able to —> Read More Here


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