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Introverted, self-reliant personality may shorten life-expectancy for diabetes patients

Category: Diabetes

Patients undergoing diabetes testing who have a lower propensity to trust and seek out others may be at a greater risk of death than those with a more interactive lifestyle, new research has found.

In the study, Paul Ciechanowski, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, and his colleagues examined 3,535 adult patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and had them fill out questionnaires regarding their personality and lifestyle.

Participants were then divided into two groups – those with an independent style, who tended to be either dismissive or fearful of close relationships, and those with an interactive style, who generally felt comfortable seeking out support.

Over the duration of the study, individuals who were more introverted and mistrustful had a 33 percent higher mortality rate than those who were more extraverted and emotionally open. The mortality rates remained the same after accounting for potential risk factors, such as age, body mass index and other medical conditions.

"Many self-management behaviors related to diabetes are optimally carried out in collaboration with others - family, peers and health-care providers," said Ciechanowski, adding that a self reliant attitude may actually be a deterrent in managing diabetes.

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