Attitude, Women's Health

Optimistic Women Live Longer

Feeling good about life and maintaining a positive ouimages-1tlook may add years to your life. That’s the verdict of a new study by researchers at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health, who analyzed data from 70,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study, a long-running study tracking women’s health via surveys every two years from 2004 to 2012. A Chan School news release reports that researchers looked at levels of optimism and other factors that might play a role in how optimism may affect mortality risk, such as race, high blood pressure, diet, and physical activity. And now the numbers: The researchers found that the most optimistic women (the top quartile) had a nearly 30 percent lower risk of dying from any of the diseases analyzed in the study compared with the least optimistic women (the bottom quartile), the study found. that the most optimistic women had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer; 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39 percent lower risk of dying from stroke; 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection. Yes, it may also be true that optimistic women take better care of themselves, eating better and exercising more often than women who have a less positive outlook.

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