Many factors influence longevity. To answer the question of whether an optimistic attitude plays a role in living longer, investigators studied more than 700,000 participants. These patients had detailed health, sociodemographic and lifestyle data collected over several decades. Participants also completed validated instruments that measure optimism.
In both sexes, higher optimism levels correlated with increased longevity. Even after adjustments were made for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors and coexisting health conditions. Study participants with the highest levels of optimism had 50% (for women) and 70% (for men) higher likelihood of living to age 85, compared with those with the lowest optimism levels.
This raises the question: Can we learn to be optimistic? The authors cite studies showing that brief interventions can enhance optimism, at least in the short term. Visit us at Radiance Functional Medicine to learn more about Healthy Aging!
Yours in Health,
Lee LO et al. Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity in 2 epidemiologic cohorts of men and women. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2019 Sept 10;116:18357