Science News

Research shows that optimists live longer

More research has shown how being optimistic is important in relation to a longer life. The new research, produced by scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine, analyzed data from 69,744 women and 1,429 men. Optimism levels and other data such as general habits regarding health, diet, smoking and alcohol use were analyzed through these surveys.

Researchers have taken into account other factors such as age, demographic factors, possible chronic illnesses, depression, exercise habits and more. Women were performed for 10 years while men were followed for thirty years.

The researchers, analyzing the data, discovered that the most optimistic people showed on average a life span of 11-15% longer. They also showed a probability of reaching 85 years, compared to less optimistic people, 50-70% higher.

Although it is not entirely clear how optimism can increase the chances of having a longer life, the suspicion of various researchers, expressed in previous studies, is that a positive attitude is linked to a lower presence of stress, a state mental health for which the strong effect it can have on health has been shown and explained.

According to the researchers behind this study, the most optimistic people tend to have healthier habits, denote a lower likelihood of smoking and greater chances of exercising or otherwise being on the move.

The senior author of the study, Fran Grodstein, comments on the results: “The research on why optimism matters so much remains to be done, but the link between optimism and health is becoming more evident.”