Extroversion and neuroticism and the associated risk of cancer: A Danish cohort study

I R Schapiro, L Ross-Petersen, H Saelan, K Garde, J H Olsen, C Johansen


The authors have investigated the effect of personality, as measured with the Eysenck Personality Inventory, on the incidence of cancer among 1,031 persons participating in a Danish health survey in 1976-1977 and followed up for 20 years. They thereby accrued a total of 19,993 person-years. The expected number of cancer cases was estimated on the basis of age-, sex-, and site-specific incidence rates in Copenhagen County, DENMARK: Overall, 113 malignancies were observed among the cohort members between the date of interview and December 31, 1996. Since 114.3 were expected from county incidence rates, the standardized incidence ratio was 0.99 (95% confidence interval: 0.81, 1.19). No statistically significant deviation of the relative risk from unity was seen for any measure of personality, and no excess risk was seen for any particular type of cancer. A regression model, in which adjustment was made for age, sex, calendar period, alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, psychiatric illness as rated by the interviewing doctor, marital status, and social class, showed no excess risk of cancer among persons considered to be in medium- or high-risk groups according to the Eysenck Personality INVENTORY: The authors' data provide no support for the hypothesis of an association between personality and the risk of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)757-63
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Neurotic Disorders/complications
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors


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