Optimistic patients live longer, says study

Can optimistic patients live longer than those who are not so positive about their health? Apparently so, according to a study at Duke University Medical Center. Here’s the original story, first reported by the New York Times.

Date: 28th February 2011

Source: New York Times

optimistic patients live longer

‘Heart patients who were optimistic about their treatment and recovery were more likely to be alive after 15 years than patients with similar disease but lower expectations, new research shows.

Patients with more optimism, for example, might agree with the statement “My heart condition will have little effect on my ability to work.’’ A less optimistic patient might be more likely to agree with the statement “I doubt I will ever fully recover from my heart problems.’’

Over the next 15 years, more than 1,600 of the study patients had died, and about half the deaths were related to heart disease. The researchers found that optimism was a strong predictor of overall survival. Patients who scored low on optimism tests were 30 percent more likely to die during the study period, even after the researchers controlled for factors like depression and severity of disease.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center tracked the psychological and physical health of more than 2,800…’