Differential Epidemiology: Why Intelligence Predicts Mortality

Divergent epidemiology examines the factors that influence access to health care and adherence to care. We will now delve more deeply into the two of them, i.e., personality traits and the human intelligence factor, i.e., the g-factor.
Differential Epidemiology: Why Intelligence Predicts Mortality

Differential epidemiology focuses on the area of ​​research whose main goal is to establish a link between the human intelligence factor, i.e. the g-factor, his personality traits, and subsequent mortality.

A 2017 study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh has found evidence to support the relationship between subjects ’intellectual levels and mortality measured in childhood. The researchers concluded that the higher the intellectual level in the subject at 11 years of age, the more likely the subject was over 80 years of age.

Based on these results, it appears that the G-factor of intelligence is related to the implementation of a healthy lifestyle, taking the recommended medication, monitoring treatment, engaging in sports, or developing an appropriate diet. Therefore, intelligence seems to be a good predictor of human longevity, in addition to helping us in reasoning, problem solving, abstract thinking, or understanding complex ideas. The limit value is set to 85 points on the ÄO scale (intelligence quotient); if the g-factor is lower than this, it becomes a risk measure.

Factor G is associated not only with adherence to treatment when the disease occurs, but also with the prevention and anticipation of unexpected life-related events. Studies have shown that people with an ÄO of less than 85 were three times more likely to be involved in or die in a car accident than people with an ÄO of 115.

The biggest problem arises from health inequalities and the existence of a health system that does not take into account the g-factor of its patients at any stage of treatment or series of events. In this way, for example, we could pay special attention to adherence to treatment for people whose ÄO is below the limit values.

Therefore, we could talk about inequality in the cognitive accessibility of all health services. Therefore, although this does not seem very intuitive, it is not necessary to increase the number of services provided to increase the effectiveness of medical or psychological treatments, but rather to adapt them to the patient’s g-factors and personality traits.

Divergent epidemiology examines the factors that influence access to health care and adherence to care

Differential epidemiology: mortality and personality traits

The G-factor of intelligence is not the only factor influencing human mortality, and research in this area has not been directed exclusively at divergent epidemiology. The five personality traits that American psychologist Lewis Goldberg classifies as openness, conciliation, outward-looking, neurotic, and conscientiousness also play a major role in the cognitive accessibility of health services and the implementation of healthy lifestyle behaviors.

With respect to these personality traits, the possibility of the influence of general personality factors underlying various disorders has also been investigated. For example, conscientiousness as a personality trait may be related to alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco use; neuroticism, on the other hand, could be associated with depression, anxiety, and phobias, and compromise for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), mania, and schizophrenia.

Likewise, it seems that personality traits and health are interrelated even in their most practical version. Through the integrated personality model, it has been found that the effect of some factors is much more significant than others.

In the case of conscientiousness or self-control, that trait regulates temperamental systems defined by other traits — for example, compromise is associated with the use of irrational knowledge, aggression, and impulsivity. Therefore, the different levels of conscientiousness must be taken into account as a matter of priority when prescribing pharmacotherapy or other therapies. In addition, other features should be reviewed and adjusted in the same way.

Differential epidemiology and phenocopies of psychological profiles

The goal of differentiated epidemiology is to be able to adapt the resources of all health services according to the patient’s personality and g-factor. This means that if the lines of research in the field continue in the same direction, different profiles could be developed in agreement with human gene expressions and their interaction with the environment.

This would lead to knowledge of how an individual views his or her environment – of course, under the influence of his or her intelligence and personality traits. This can also help in creating a psychological profile that allows, for example, medical procedures, types of medicine, or schedules of medical check-ups to be adjusted in an ideal way.

Differential epidemiology aims to be able to adapt the resources of all health services according to the patient's personality and g-factor

Different measures to try

Still far from individual genetic research and the implementation of divergent epidemiology, certain changes can be made in primary care as well as in medical interventions and treatments to better match the cognitive accessibility of health services for people with different IQs.

A few measures related to g-factor could be, for example, the implementation of a few simple variations. Examples of these include omitting the requirement for basic literacy, giving clear instructions (what the patient should and should not do), and adapting recipes to everyone’s understanding. In addition, using a simple and informative vocabulary as well as omitting unnecessary information can help greatly.

As for the different traits of personality, these medical procedures, such as medication, would always need to be adapted to the existing levels of each person. For example, prescribing medications that affect his or her social life should be avoided with a patient with strongly outward-looking traits. Or that a person with strong hallmarks could be prescribed drugs that affect his ability to concentrate because he has more resources to deal with such side effects. Following the same pattern with a person with a low level of reconciliation, there would again be a particular focus on working on the relationship between the patient and the health care professional.

All of these measures would not only help patients to use health services properly, but at the same time make them efficient, fast and with a high treatment delivery rate. In addition, knowledge of patients ’personality and intelligence profiles can help in the publication of various plans and campaigns to prevent unhealthy lifestyles. When we understand the way people process information, we can anticipate how that information will be provided and to what group it will be targeted.

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