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Trait-anxiety and somatic concerns associate with increased mortality risk: a 23-year follow-up in ageing men

  • Tolmunen, Tommi
  • Lehto, Soili Marianne
  • Julkunen, Juhani
  • Hintikka, Jukka
  • Kauhanen, Jussi1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • 1 Institute of Clinical Medicine (Psychiatry)
  • 2 University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital
  • 3 Institute of Behavioural Sciences (Psychology)
  • 4 University of Helsinki
  • 5 Department of Psychiatry
  • 6 Päijät-Häme Central Hospital and University of Tampere
  • 7 Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition
  • 8 University of Eastern Finland
Published Article
Annals of Epidemiology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Mar 11, 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.03.001


PurposeWe aimed to examine the impact of anxiety and somatic concerns on the mortality risk during a 21-year follow-up of a representative sample of men. MethodsFinnish men aged 42 to 61 years (n = 2388) were followed up for a median of 23.4 years. Anxiety was assessed utilizing baseline scores for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) Psychasthenia subscale and somatic concerns were measured with the Hypochondriasis subscale. Mortality data were obtained from the National Population Register. ResultsAll-cause, injury, disease, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality were examined as endpoints. Adjustments were performed for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, a history of cardiovascular disease, marital status, socioeconomic status, the Framingham Type A Behavior Pattern Scale, and life events during the 12 months before the baseline examination. Anxiety and somatic concerns predicted the all-cause mortality risk after full adjustments for sociodemographic background, lifestyle factors, and descriptors of somatic health. Regarding other forms of mortality, the risk ratios were significant after full adjustments in anxiety for injury and in somatic concerns for disease death. ConclusionsThis study supported previous findings of neuroticism predicting the all-cause mortality risk in men. Somatic concerns is a novel factor that needs to be taken into account while examining associations between personality and the risk of increased mortality.

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