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Regular Trips to Theatres, Museums Key to Long Life, Says Study

Adults over the age of 50, who took trips every few months to museums, theatres, art galleries cut their risk of premature death by 31 per cent, says a new study.

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Updated:December 29, 2019, 5:35 PM IST
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Regular Trips to Theatres, Museums Key to Long Life, Says Study
Visitors admire a marble statue of Dionysus at the Capitoline museum, in Rome. (Photo courtesy: AP)

A new study by University College London has said that experiences with cultural pursuits in later life cuts risk of dying early. Adults over the age of 50, who took trips every few months to museums, theatres, art galleries, cut their risk of premature death by 31 per cent (2.4 deaths per 1000 person years).

Those who enjoyed cultural activities less frequently, reduced risk of dying by 14% (3.5 deaths per 1000 person years vs 6 deaths per 1000 person years) in comparison with those who never ventured with arts at all, the study said.

The research was led by Dr Daisy Fancourt from UCL’s Epidemiology & Health Care division. “We have seen increasing evidence to show the health benefit of the arts and while ‘leisure’ has been broadly linked to a lower risk of premature death,” she added.

Although, connect between cultural engagement and survival remained even when mental health and physical activity were considered.

To measure engagement in arts and find its link to lifespan, data was analysed from 6710 adults, aged 50 and over, from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). They followed up on the group, comprising both men and women, after 14 years.

The findings were published in the British Medical Journal. Fancourt said the findings highlight the importance of continuing to explore new social factors as core determinants of health.

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