Background: Polypharmacy is a serious concern among older adults and is frequently related to adverse outcomes, including health problems, reduced quality of life, and increased medical expenses. Although personality traits are associated with health behaviors and diseases, the effect of polypharmacy on personality traits is unclear. Therefore, we examined the association of personality traits with polypharmacy among community-dwelling older adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study analysed data on 836 community-dwelling older adults aged 69–71 years who participated in the Japanese longitudinal cohort study of Septuagenarians, Octogenarians, and Nonagenarians Investigation with Centenarians. Polypharmacy was defined as the intake of ≥ 5 medications concurrently. Personality traits were assessed using the Japanese version of the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). A five-factor model of personality traits, including “neuroticism,” “extraversion,” “openness,” “agreeableness,” and “conscientiousness,” was measured by the NEO-FFI. Results: The average number of medications was about 3 in both men and women. Among the participants, polypharmacy was observed in 23.9% of men and 28.0% of women. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that neuroticism (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] per 1 point increase = 1.078, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.015–1.144) in men and extraversion (aOR = 0.932, 95% CI = 0.884–0.983) in women were associated with polypharmacy. Conclusions: Higher neuroticism in men and lower extraversion in women were associated with polypharmacy. This study suggests that personality traits may be involved in the process leading to the development of polypharmacy. Information on individual personality traits may help medical professionals in decision-making regarding medication management for lifestyle-related diseases.
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