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Good News For the 'Young At Heart': They May Live Longer

Good News For the 'Young At Heart': They May Live Longer

If you count yourself as one of the “young at heart” then there’s a strong possibility you may be in for some added years to your life. A new study suggests those who feel younger than the date on their birth certificate have lower death rates.

CNN reports about the new study published in JAMA International Medicine that looks at the outlook of almost 6,500 senior citizens with an average age of 65.8. Those that stated they felt almost 10 years younger than their actual age were less likely to have died when researchers came back for a follow-up eight years later.

Only about 14% of those that felt a decade younger had died in the follow-up as compared to the 24% that died after reporting feeling older or feeling their age. There’s a possibility that the longevity of those that feel younger than their age is due to the positive attitude about their health. The study describes the possible reason for their findings by saying, “Possibilities include a broader set of health behaviors than we measured (such as maintaining a healthy weight and adherence to medical advice), and greater resilience, sense of mastery and will to live among those who feel younger than their age.”

The study also mentions that those who feel older than their age may have the possibility to change their attitude before it’s too late. Authors write, “Self-perceived age has the potential to change, so interventions may be possible. Individuals who feel older than their actual age could be targeted with health messages promoting positive health behaviors and attitudes toward aging.”

Assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine Dr. Sharon Bergquist points out that new research shows a link between both optimism and conscientiousness to live a longer life. Bergquist says, “Research is showing us that personality can so be tied to your destiny.”

What do you think of the new study that suggests those who feel younger than their actual age live longer?

Do you think personality can be tied to life expectancy?
 

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