Optimism is the half step to longevity, so that people who see the positive side of life are more likely to live 85 years or even more.

What the data show
Researches to date have shown that optimism is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and early death. The present study, published in the scientific journal «Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences», is the first to investigate the association between optimism and life expectancy.

«There is evidence that longevity is associated with good health and life without disabilities. The importance of this research lies in enabling us to promote healthy aging by cultivating psychosocial personality aspects, such as optimism», said Liuin Lee, lead author of the study, from the University of Medicine School of Medicine.

The experiment

In order to examine the relationship between optimism and longevity, the researchers divided a sample of 70,000 women with an average age of 70 years into four groups according to their level of optimism. The teams were followed from 2004 till 2014. It was found that the life expectancy of the team with the most optimistic women was 15% longer.

Meanwhile, the sample of men used by the researchers was followed from 1986 till 2016, divided into five groups, with an average age of 62 years. It was found that the group of the most optimistic men lived 11% more than the group of the least optimistic.

Optimism and healthy lifestyle
Researchers argued that those who were more optimistic also adopted healthier habits and lifestyle. When they took into account the level of physical activity, diet, smoking and alcohol, the most optimistic women appeared to have a 9% longer life expectancy than the least optimistic. In men, the proportion was 10%.

Also, the most optimistic people, both women and men, were more likely to live 85 years. Specifically, women who were more optimistic were 20% more likely to reach this age.