Optimism Promises Prolonged Life
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), National Centre for PTSD at VA
Boston Healthcare System and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have
found that individuals with greater optimism are more likely to live longer and
to achieve ‘exceptional longevity’, that is, living to age 85 or older.
The study was based on 69,744 women and 1,429 men. Both groups completed survey measures to assess their level of optimism, as well as their overall health and health habits such as diet, smoking and alcohol use. Women were followed for 10 years, while the men were followed for 30 years. When individuals were compared based on their initial levels of optimism, the researchers found that the most optimistic men and women demonstrated, on average, an 11 to 15 percent longer lifespan, and had 50-70 percent greater odds of reaching 85 years old compared to the least optimistic groups.