Optimistic seniors report fewer chronic illnesses and better overall health

Optimism has a remarkable impact on physical health, as several scientific studies have shown. A few researchers wondered what this effect could mean for elderly people, who more often get to deal with the mental and physical health effects of aging. They also wanted to find out if a change to a more positive outlook on life would correlate to a healthier life. They used extensive data on people aged 50 and older from the Health and Retirement Study to find answers to their questions. Their conclusion: changes in optimism are associated with changes in health over time among older adults. An increased optimistic outlook on life over a 4-year-period is associated with improvements in self-rated health and fewer chronic illnesses over the same time frame.

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Optimistic seniors report fewer chronic illnesses and better overall health

Optimism has a remarkable impact on physical health, as several scientific studies have shown. A few researchers wondered what this effect could mean for elderly people, who more often get to deal with the mental and physical health effects of aging. They also wanted to find out if a change to a more positive outlook on life would correlate to a healthier life. They used extensive data on people aged 50 and older from the Health and Retirement Study to find answers to their questions. Their conclusion: changes in optimism are associated with changes in health over time among older adults. An increased optimistic outlook on life over a 4-year-period is associated with improvements in self-rated health and fewer chronic illnesses over the same time frame.

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