Study Suggests Optimists Live Longer


Optimists live longer.  Results from a government study showing nearly 100,000 women being followed adds to scientific findings saying that optimists live longer.  The report is from the American Psychosomatic Society meeting and the University of Pittsburgh.  Women aged 50 and above were in the study that started in 1994.  Optimists were defined as those who said they expected good things rather than bad things to happen.  Over the course of the study, optimists had a lower death rate in general and had a 30% lower death rate from heart disease.  In contrast, those who were more hostile had a higher death rate and a 23% greater risk of death from a cancer-related condition.  The results also suggested that optimism and hostility levels had a larger impact on black women’s health.  The researchers say that finding needs more study due to low numbers of black women in the group


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Optimism Linked to Health Benefits

Optimism Linked to Health Benefits

Previously published reports suggest that positive psychological factors such as optimism are associated with health benefits such as low risk of heart disease and cardiovascular-related death. Authors of this study analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study. They did it in over 6,000 adults, all older than 50, and they compared the response. They found that optimistic folks simply have less stress which is linked to less cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

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