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Optimists live longer, study says

Looking at the bright side of life can help you live longer, according to new research.
(WNDU)
Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 4:09 PM EST
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(CNN)- Looking at the bright side of life can help you live longer, according to new research.

A study published Monday said men and women with the highest levels of optimism had an 11 percent to 15 percent longer life span, on average, than people who don’t practice much positive thinking. The highest-scoring optimists had the greatest odds of living to age 85 or beyond, CNN reported.

Those results appeared to be true even when class, health, depression, smoking, social engagement, poor diet and alcohol use were considered.

“This was the first study to look at the impact of optimism on exceptional longevity, which is defined as living to age 85 or more,” said lead author Lewina Lee, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University’s School of Medicine. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Optimistic individuals tend to have goals and the confidence to reach them,” Lee said. “Those goals could include healthy habits that contribute to a longer life.”

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