Published on: March 15, 2019
by Oxford Academic:
Mounting evidence indicates specific associations between higher levels of optimism and healthier behaviors, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and lower mortality. Yet, for public health purposes, it is critical to consider how optimism may be related to a full scope of health conditions in aging—from cognitive to physical health.
Using prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study (N=5,698), we examined if higher baseline optimism was associated with subsequent increased likelihood of maintaining healthy aging over 6-8 years of follow-up.
Optimism was assessed at study baseline (2006 or 2008), and components of healthy aging were assessed every two years, defined as: 1) remaining free of major chronic diseases; 2) having no cognitive impairment; and 3) good physical functioning.
Hazard ratios were obtained using Cox proportional hazards models, and a range of relevant covariates were considered (sociodemographics, depressive symptoms, health behaviors). After adjusting for sociodemographics and depression, the most (top quartile) versus least (bottom quartile) optimistic participants had a 24% increased likelihood of maintaining healthy aging (95% CI: 1.11, 1.38).
Further adjustment for health behaviors did not meaningfully change the findings. Optimism, a potentially modifiable health asset, merits further research for its potential to improve likelihood of health in aging.
While anyone can experience a stroke at any age, women experience more stroke events than men and are less likely to recover. “BE FAST” is a checklist of 6 items to keep in mind when assessing whether you might be...
Enjoy these highlights from our Engaging Millennial Minds Chew on This virtual event with celebrity chef Mark McEwan.
This virtual culinary event featured Celebrity Chef and Restauranteur Mark McEwan.
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.