Optimistic outlook linked to greater, even “exceptional,” longevity

Laura Kubzansky and her colleagues have published a paper in PNAS that has furthered previous research on the link between optimism and better health to now find a relationship between optimism and greater longevity (up to 15% longer, on average) including increased odds of living to 85 years old or beyond. The findings have received much attention in the press… Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Psychology Today CNBC…

Study finds those most optimistic are 24% more likely to maintain good cognitive and physical health as they age

Laura Kubzansky is an author on a paper that explores optimism in relation to likelihood of healthy aging, considering whether effects are evident over and above effects of health-related behaviors and depression. Findings suggest that optimism should be explored further as a potentially modifiable health asset.

Can programs that promote well-being help to improve cardiovascular health?

Given the strong connection between optimism (and other signposts of psychological well-being) and cardiovascular health, Laura Kubzansky and colleagues recommend in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) that rigorous interventions be designed to evaluate programs geared towards promoting psychological well-being.

What is driving optimism’s association with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease?

Laura Kubzansky, a Harvard Pop Center faculty member and co-director of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, is an author on a paper that analyzes the relationship between optimism and healthy behaviors, such as exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, and not smoking cigarettes; is it that optimistic people engage in healthier behaviors and that is what is reducing their risk for cardiovascular disease and related mortality?