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High optimism associated with longevity and healthy aging across diverse groups


Key points from article :

Higher levels of optimism associated with longer lifespan and living beyond age 90 in women across racial and ethnic groups.

Including diverse populations in research is important to public health.

Researchers analyzed data and survey responses from 159,255 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative.

Women enrolled at ages 50–79 from 1993 to 1998 and were followed for up to 26 years. 

25% who were the most optimistic were likely to have a 5.4% longer lifespan.

10% greater likelihood of living beyond 90 years than the 25% who were the least optimistic.

Lifestyle factors, such as regular exercise and healthy eating, accounted for less than a quarter of the optimism.

"We tend to focus on the negative risk factors that affect our health,” said Hayami Koga, a PhD student and lead author of study.

She added that the studys' results could reframe how people view the decisions that affect their health.

Research published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society  led by Hayami Koga.

Positive physiological factor extends life expectancy of women beyond 90

Mentioned in this article:

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Education of new generations of global health leaders.

Hayami Koga

Graduate student at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS)

Journal providing information about clinical aging research