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The study links optimism with longevity



The expectation that good things will happen can be key to long life.

People who are optimistic are more likely to reach "extraordinary longevity" or live to the age of 85 or more, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This relationship is present in both sexes and has remained in place, even after researchers have reported smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, diet, BMI and depression.

"Our team was surprised and reassured to see similar results in men and women," says Levina Lee, a psychiatry assistant at Boston University School of Medicine, today.

"We know that optimism is about 25% hereditary, which means that there is room for modification [it]. "

The study is based on data from 69,744 women in the Nurses Health Study and 1

,429 men in the Veterans Regulatory Survey.

Women who have been following since 1976 completed optimism a ssession in 2004. The questionnaire asked how strongly they agreed with statements such as "In uncertain times I usually expect the best" or "I am always optimistic about my future."

Men who have been followed since 1961 completed a similar type of optimism scale in 1986.


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