Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Shy people die younger

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Are you the life of the party, or the guy who hides in the corner by the food? Your confidence in these sorts of situations might seem like it wouldn't effect much beyond your social life, but a recent study finds that being shy could mean serious consequences for your health.

Conducted by Northwestern University, the 30-year study concluded that men who are antisocial are 50 percent more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than their more outgoing counterparts.

There's a few possible reasons for this correlation, though the exact cause isn't entirely clear. Some speculate that it's merely because those who are shy are generally of lower social status, which is also known to cause poor health. Others, however, think the two are related -- noting that those who feel socially inferior could adopt unhealthy lifestyle choices as a result. Still others suggest that gregarious people are generally type "B" (easy-going) personalities -- the only personality type that isn't associated with an increased risk of serious disease.

While there's still questions left to be answered, the results do highlight the importance of social anxiety when assessing a person's overall health.

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