Neurosis and dying: Now you know

August 19, 2009
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Believe it or not, until Purdue University psychologist Daniel Mroczek tackled the question, no one had delved into why people who freak out easily die earlier than mellow folks.

Experts have long known that stressed, neurotic folks kick the bucket earlier. But they werenâ??t certain why. Mroczekâ??s research shows worriers tend to smoke, which leads to cancer and other related maladies that cause death.

Worriers also drink more than the average person, but Mroczek found no ties to early death resulting from alcohol.

Mroczek (rhymes with Prozac) doesnâ??t know whether neurotics take up smoking to calm their nerves, but the â??self-medicationâ?? nevertheless does just that, at least until they end up in a doctorâ??s office and get bad news.

Just about everyone is at least somewhat neurotic, he says. At one end of the spectrum are people who are cool and collected under pressure, while at the other end are the hypervigilant, who get jittery about anything.

The future of health care research will be driven by digging deeper into the psychological woes that give rise to cancer, heart disease and other killers, Mroczek says.

Thoughts, anyone?
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  • It sounds like an interesting topic to explore. It seems reasonable that more neurotic minded individuals probably make different life choices over the course of their lives and that probably affects their lifespan and overall health. Before we start spending billions in psycho analyzing people to better health, we should probably get the costs of basic healthcare down. I just read an article recently that said the single biggest thing we could do to decrease the cost of healthcare is to get people to take responsibilty for their own health and reduce obesity which is the root cuase of most of our major illnesses to some degree.
    So put down the donuts people...and take a walk :)
  • Nice try, disapproving citizen! I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, the liberals and progressives have made a much trodden path to the well of entitlement. And the fat people generally don't want to change and want the gov'mint to pay for their care. They want to keep on eatin' them donuts and tenderloins. Super size that please!

    You recall those people displaced by Katrina in New Orleans. I don't recall seeing many skinny people looking for a way out or a gov'mint handout, do you? Not saying they didn't deserve help, but it certainly didn't appear as if they had missed many meals.

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