High optimism linked with longer life
Participants from the Women's Health Initiative (N = 159,255) completed a validated measure of optimism and provided other demographic and health data at baseline. Researchers evaluated associations of optimism with increments in lifespan using accelerated failure time models, and with likelihood of exceptional longevity (survival to age 90) using Poisson regression models.

After covariate adjustment, the highest versus lowest optimism quartile was associated with 5.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.5, 6.4%) longer lifespan. Within racial and ethnic subgroups, these estimates were 5.1% (95%CI = 4.0, 6.1%) in non-Hispanic White, 7.6% (95%CI = 3.6, 11.7%) in Black, 5.4% (95%CI = 0.1, 11.2%) in Hispanic/Latina, and 1.5% (95% CI = 5.0, 8.5) in Asian women. A high proportion (53%) of the women achieved exceptional longevity. Participants in the highest versus lowest optimism quartile had greater likelihood of achieving exceptional longevity (e.g., full sample risk ratio = 1.1, 95%CI = 1.1, 1.1). Lifestyle mediated 24% of the optimism-lifespan association in the full sample, 25% in non-Hispanic White, 10% in Black, 24% in Hispanic/Latina, and 43% in Asian women.

Higher optimism was associated with longer lifespan and a greater likelihood of achieving exceptional longevity overall and across racial and ethnic groups. The contribution of lifestyle to these associations was modest. Optimism may promote health and longevity in diverse racial and ethnic groups.

Source: https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.17897
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