Objective: Although many reports discussing the associations between personality traits and mortality have been published internationally, those evaluating the relationships among personality, risk factors, and mortality of cancer and CVD are limited. Methods: In a prospective cohort study, we assessed the relationship of neuroticism and extraversion traits with mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 11,554 Japanese residents (male, n = 4995; female, n = 6559), and whether the risk factors that have been validated in the Japanese population mediated the relationship. The baseline survey was conducted between February 2004 and August 2007, and the participants were followed until the date of death or December 31, 2013. Results: Neuroticism was positively associated with risk factors for cancer and negatively associated with the risk score for CVD in both sexes. The relationship between extraversion and cancer risk factors differed depending on the factors, and a positive association between extraversion and the CVD risk score was observed only in men. Among cancer mortality, CVD mortality, and mortality due to other causes, cancer mortality showed remarkably negative association with neuroticism in women; unadjusted hazard ratio for the highest tertile versus the lowest tertile was 0.41 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23–0.73). While the logistic regression coefficients changed 19% after adjustment for age, it changed no more than 19% after adjustment for age and risk factors. Conclusion: While neuroticism was negatively associated with cancer mortality in women, the mediating effect of the risk factors was small.
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