Can optimism equitably impact life expectancy?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 1, 2022

You may have heard of research findings linking optimism to an increased lifespan and likelihood of living to 85+. Well, that same research group took it a notch further to investigate whether or not these findings hold true across demographics.

Study Summary

This study, which included data from 159,255 ethnically and racially-diverse post-menopausal women, found that:

  • Those who were the most optimistic had a 5.4% longer lifespan than those who were the least optimistic.
  • Those who were the most optimistic had a 10% increased likelihood of living to 90+ compared to those who were the least optimistic.
  • There was no interaction between categories of race and ethnicity, and optimism.
  • These results were consistent despite demographics, health conditions, and depression.

The Hearty Take

Although this study is limited by gender, it shows the power of optimism despite a difference in background. At Hearty, we recommend focusing on positive factors of longevity, like optimism. Cultivating an optimistic attitude improves stress resiliency and contributes to enhanced healthspan. An easy way to start this is with a daily gratitude practice. Reach out to your health coach for behavioral tips on how to start practicing optimism!

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