In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that included a racially diverse group of 159,255 women, higher levels of optimism were associated with longer lifespans and a greater likelihood of living past 90 years of age.
Investigators found that the link between optimism and longevity was evident across racial and ethnic groups, and that lifestyle factors accounted for nearly one-quarter of the optimism-lifespan association.
"Although optimism itself may be patterned by social structural factors, our findings suggest that the benefits of optimism for longevity may hold across racial and ethnic groups," said lead author Hayami K. Koga, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Optimism may be an important target of intervention for longevity across diverse groups."