2 Fascinating Signs Of A Stronger Immune System

These two personality traits are linked to having a stronger immune system.

These two personality traits are linked to having a stronger immune system.

People with a positive and uninhibited personality tend to have a stronger immune system, research finds.

People with stable emotions, who are extraverted and outgoing also tend to have lower activation of their immune system, suggesting it is more healthy.

People who are extraverted tend to be focused on the world around them and are most happy when surrounded by people and when active.

Two signs that a person has a positive and outgoing personality are strongly disagreeing with both the following statements:

  • “I often find myself worrying about something.”
  • “I would rather keep people at a distance.”

The conclusions come partly from a study which found that people who are extraverted and have stable emotions are at lower risk of dying from peripheral artery disease.

In contrast, at the other end of the spectrum, a negative, inhibited personality is linked to a weaker immune system.

This type of negative personality is sometimes known as ‘type D’, where D stands for distressed.

The study’s authors explain:

“Preliminary evidence suggests that personality traits such as hostility may also be associated with the severity and progression of atherosclerosis [plaque buildup] in patients with PAD.

Another potential individual risk factor in this context is the distressed personality type (type D).

Type D refers to the joint tendency to experience negative emotions and to inhibit self-expression in social interaction.”

The researchers tracked 184 patients with peripheral artery disease.

The results showed that people with a type D personality were at higher risk of dying.

A type D personality refers to people who are neurotic and introverted.

One of the reasons for the link may be, the authors write:

“…inadequate self-management of chronic disease is a potential behavioral mechanism that may explain the relation between type D personality and poor prognosis in cardiovascular disease.”

The study was published in the journal The Archives of Surgery (Aquarius et al., 2009).

Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.

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