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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: New Evidence That Optimists Live Longer

After decades of research, a new study links optimism and prolonged life.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and the National Center for PTSD (Pposttraumatic stress disorder) at VA Boston Healthcare System, have found that individuals with greater optimism are more likely to live longer and to achieve “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to age 85 or older.

Optimism refers to a general expectation that good things will happen, or believing that the future will be favorable because we can control important outcomes. Whereas research has identified many risk factors that increase the likelihood of diseases and premature death, much less is known about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging.

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