While it is known that a positive personality can help one succeed in life, a new study suggests that traits such as optimism may actually help reduce the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
The study examined whether personality traits, including optimism, negativity, and hostility, were associated with the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in postmenopausal women.
Depression and cynicism were found to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
In addition, high levels of hostility were associated with high fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and prevalent diabetes.
For the study, published in the journal Menopause, researchers followed 139,924 postmenopausal women amongst which 19,240 cases of Type-2 diabetes were identified.
Compared with women who were least optimistic, women who were the most optimistic had a 12 per cent lower risk of incident diabetes, results showed.
In addition, the association of hostility with the risk of diabetes was stronger in women who were not obese compared with women who were.
Hence, low optimism, high negativity and hostility were associated with increased risk of incident diabetes in postmenopausal women, independent of major health behaviours and depressive symptoms, the study concluded.
“In addition to using personality traits to help us identify women at higher risk for developing diabetes, more individualised education and treatment strategies should also be used,” said Joann Pinkerton, executive director at The North American Menopause Society.
The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, with a 25.2 per cent prevalence in those aged 65 years or older.