The benefits, and costs, of anxiety

I don’t worry much, so it is good I survived my 20s:

Using the survey to follow the fortunes of 5,362 people born in 1946,
the researchers found that those individuals who had higher anxiety –
as determined by the opinion of their school teacher when they were 13
– were significantly less likely to die in accidental circumstances
before they were 25 (only 0.1 per cent of them did) than were
non-anxious people (0.72 per cent of them did). Similar trends were
observed when anxiety was measured using the teachers’ anxiety
judgments when the sample were 15-years-old, or using the sample’s own
completion of a neuroticism questionnaire when they were 16. By
contrast, anxiety had no association with the number of non-accidental
(e.g. illness-related) deaths before 25. “Our findings show, for the
first time in a representative sample of humans, a relatively strong
protective effect of trait anxiety”, the researchers said.

not all good news for anxious people though. After the age of 25 they
started to show higher mortality rates than calmer types thanks to
increased illness-related deaths.

Here is the link and also the paper.  Elsewhere on BPS Digest, the language you speak influences your personality.


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