Background: Few studies have examined the associations between personality facets and dementia risk and rarely included individuals from rural settings or with low education. Objective: To examine the association between personality and the risk of cognitive impairment. Methods: Participants (N = 1,668; age 50 to 94 at baseline; 56.4% women; 86.5% less than high school diploma) were from a rural region of Sardinia (Italy) who completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) during the first wave (2001-2004) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) at waves two to five (2005-2021). Cox regression was used to test personality and covariates as predictors of cognitive impairment based on MMSE education-adjusted cutoffs. Results: During the up to 18-year follow-up (M = 10.38; SD = 4.76), 187 individuals (11.2%) scored as cognitively impaired. Participants with higher neuroticism (particularly the depression facet [HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.06-1.40]), and lower agreeableness (particularly the modesty facet [HR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.71-0.97]) and lower conscientiousness (particularly the dutifulness facet [HR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67-0.92]) were at higher risk of cognitive impairment. Lower warmth ([HR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.65-0.87], facet of extraversion) and ideas ([HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.65-0.89], facet of openness) were also associated with increased risk of impairment. These associations were virtually unchanged in models that accounted for other risk factors, including smoking, depression, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 carrier status. Across the five domains, sex and the APOE variant did not moderate the associations. Conclusion: In a sample with demographic characteristics underrepresented in dementia research, this study identifies personality domains and facets most relevant to the risk of cognitive impairment.
Facets of Personality and Risk of Cognitive Impairment: Longitudinal Findings in a Rural Community from Sardinia / Terracciano, A.; Piras, M. R.; Sutin, A. R.; Delitala, A.; Curreli, N. C.; Balaci, L.; Marongiu, M.; Zhu, X.; Aschwanden, D.; Luchetti, M.; Oppong, R.; Schlessinger, D.; Cucca, F.; Launer, L. J.; Fiorillo, E.. - In: JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE. - ISSN 1387-2877. - 88:4(2022), pp. 1651-1661. [10.3233/JAD-220400]