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Personality may be key risk factor in preventive health care

When it comes to helping young adults avoid serious health problems later in life, assessing their personalities during routine medical exams could prove as useful as recording their family medical histories and smoking habits, according to new research. Being conscientious appears to be the best bet for good health among traits known as the ?Big Five,? which are the basis for most psychological personality assessments. Along with conscientiousness, the Big Five include extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and openness to experience. Participants who were more conscientious when they were 26 years old were more likely to be in much better health at age 38 than those who were low in that personality trait, the study found.
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