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Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), National Center 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.

Optimism refers to a general expectation that good things will happen, or believing that the future will be favorable because we can control important outcomes. Whereas research has identified many risk factors that increase the likelihood of diseases and premature death, much less is known about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging.

The study, published in PNAS scientific journal,  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.

 

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Link to the study in PNAS: