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After analyzing up to 26 years of data shared by thousands of postmenopausal women, researchers found that women who were more optimistic lived about four years longer than those who scored lower on optimism assessments.

The median lifespan for U.S. women during the 2018 review was 81. However, more than half of women in this study, part of the Women’s Health Initiative, lived to at least 90.

After adjusting for multiple variables, such as medical history, education, and income, researchers found links between optimism and longevity were still strong.

For this study, the researchers analyzed data and survey responses from 159,255 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, which included postmenopausal women in the U.S. The women enrolled at ages 50-79 from 1993 to 1998 and were followed for up to 26 years.

It is very important to think about the positive resources, such as optimism, that may be beneficial to our health, especially if we see that these benefits are seen across racial and ethnic groups.

Source: The Harvard Gazette