Personality and risk of Alzheimer's disease: New data and meta-analysis

Antonio Terracciano, Angelina R. Sutin, Yang An, Richard J. O'Brien, Luigi Ferrucci, Alan B. Zonderman, Susan M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Background: We examine whether broad factors and specific facets of personality are associated with increased risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a long-run longitudinal study and a meta-analysis of published studies. Methods: Participants (n = 1671) were monitored for up to 22 years from a baseline personality assessment. The meta-analysis pooled results from up to five prospective studies (n = 5054). Results: Individuals with scores in the top quartile of neuroticism (hazard ratio = 3.1; 95% confidence interval = 1.6-6.0) or the lowest quartile of conscientiousness (hazard ratio = 3.3; 95% confidence interval = 1.4-7.4) had a threefold increased risk of incident AD. Among the components of these traits, self-discipline and depression had the strongest associations with incident AD. The meta-analysis confirmed the associations of neuroticism (P = 2 × 10-9) and conscientiousness (P = 2 × 10-6), along with weaker effects for openness and agreeableness (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anxiety
  • APOE
  • Conscientiousness
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Meta-analysis
  • Neuroticism
  • Observational prospective study
  • Order
  • Self-discipline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy


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