Personality & Cancer Survival: NO Connection in Japan

Personality and cancer survival: the Miyagi cohort study

N Nakaya1,2,3, Y Tsubono2, Y Nishino2, T Hosokawa4, S Fukudo3, D Shibuya5, N Akizuki1, E Yoshikawa1, M Kobayakawa1, M Fujimori1, K Saito-Nakaya1,3, Y Uchitomi1 and I Tsuji2

1Psycho-Oncology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, 6-5-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Japan

2Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Forensic Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo, Sendai, Japan

3Department of Behavioral Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo, Sendai, Japan

4Department of Human Development Disability, Tohoku University Graduate School of Education, 27-1 Kawauchi, Sendai, Japan

5Miyagi Cancer Society, Kamisugi 5-7-30, Sendai, Japan

Correspondence to: Y Uchitomi, E-mail:

We tested the hypothesis that personality plays a role in cancer outcome in a population-based prospective cohort study in Japan. In July 1990, 41 442 residents of Japan completed a short form of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised and a questionnaire on various health habits, and between January 1993 and December 1997, 890 incident cases of cancer were identified among them.

These 890 cases were followed up until March 2001, and a total of 356 deaths from all causes was identified among them. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of death according to four score levels on each of four personality subscales (extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism, and lie), with adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Multivariable HRs of deaths from all causes for individuals in the highest score level on each personality subscale compared with those at the lowest level were 1.0 for extraversion (95% CI=0.8-1.4; Trend P=0.73), 1.1 for neuroticism (0.8-1.6; Trend P=0.24), 1.2 for psychoticism (0.9-1.6; Trend P=0.29), and 1.0 for lie (0.7-1.5; Trend P=0.90).

The data obtained in this population-based prospective cohort study in Japan do not support the hypothesis that personality is associated with cancer survival.

British Journal of Cancer (2005) 92, 2089-2094. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602610 Published online 17 May 2005

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