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Optimists More Likely to Live to be 85, Says Study

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

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Updated:August 28, 2019, 3:05 PM IST
Optimists More Likely to Live to be 85, Says Study
Image for representation.

Turns out looking on the bright side and having a positive attitude in life could actually help a person live longer. A new study now finds that having an optimistic outlook towards life allows people to live longer with them having a greater chance of reaching their 85th birthday.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. According to a story published in Daily Mail, study experts say positive people cope with stress better which limits its effect on physical health. Researchers say that people with an optimistic outlook in life are more likely to set themselves goals, and believe they will achieve them, which makes them more likely to lead a healthy life and exercise regularly.

The study, conducted at the Boston University, tracked almost 70,000 women for a decade and 1,500 men for three decades after giving them questionnaire to judge their outlook in life. The researchers subsequently found that optimists had a lifespan which was 11 to 15 percent longer and were more likely to achieve 'exceptional longevity', or reaching the age of 85.

The researchers found that positive women were 50 percent more likely to see their 85th birthday, and optimistic men had 70 percent higher odds of reaching the same age.

Speaking about it, lead author of the study Dr Lewina Lee said, "While research has identified many risk factors for diseases and premature death, we know relatively less about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging."

Dr Lee further added that the study has strong public health relevance because it suggests that optimism is a psychosocial asset that has the potential to extend the lifespan of a person.

Notably, the study defines optimism as 'the belief that the future will be pleasant because one can control important outcomes'.

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