Background: It has been hypothesized that personality traits affect survival after cancer, but studies have produced inconsistent results. This study examined the association between mental vulnerability and survival after cancer in Denmark in a prospective cohort study. Methods: Between 1976 and 2001, 12733 residents of Copenhagen completed a questionnaire eliciting information on a 12-item mental vulnerability scale, as well as various personal data. Follow-up in the Danish Cancer Registry until 2003 identified 884 incident cases of primary cancer and follow-up for death from the date of cancer diagnosis until 2003 identified 382 deaths. Mental vulnerability scores were divided into 4 approximately equal-sized groups. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause mortality. Results: Multivariate HR for all-cause mortality for persons in the highest category of mental vulnerability compared with those at the lowest was 1.1 (95% confidence interval = 0.9-1.5). Conclusion: We found no support for the hypothesis that mental vulnerability is associated with survival aller cancer diagnosis.
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