People who qualify as healthy can live longer
A study published online PLoS ONE revealed that it is not just a person's state of health that influences his or her longevity, but also the way she evaluates her own health. Research shows that qualifying as healthy goes beyond being free of risk factors: it encompasses mental and social well-being.
Made by researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine University of Zurich in Switzerland, the analysis was attended by 8,251 men and women over 16 years. All of them provided data on level of schooling, marital status, smoking status, clinical history, medications, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Mortality risk seemed to be directly linked to the assessment of each individual's health. This risk increased steadily and steadily as self-evaluation was considered excellent, good, reasonable, bad, and very poor. Men who rated their health as very bad had a 3.3-fold higher risk of dying than men of the same age who claimed to have excellent health. The researchers also concluded that the schooling, marital status, and other characteristics requested of the participants did not have a significant influence on the individual's opinion of their health. For David Fah, one of the authors of the study, the results show that having optimistic and positive attitudes, plus greater satisfaction with one's life, helps to have quality of life.
Optimism strengthens the immune system
Having optimism can strengthen the body's ability to fight infections, according to research conducted by the University of Kentucky (USA) and published in the journal Psychological Science. For four years, scholars evaluated 124 first-year law students. The students, most of whom were white (90%) and female (55%), answered questions about their levels of optimism.
Participants also received an injection of an antigen that causes the immune system to react through of creating a swelling in the skin. When a "cock" appeared, it meant that the reaction of the volunteer's immune system was stronger. It was concluded that the immune response was more powerful in each student, when they adopted more optimistic attitudes, and decreased as they became more pessimistic.
So what happens in the body? If there is a link between attitude, emotions and health, how does it work? The researchers raised different hypotheses. One of them is that happier or more "positive" people tend to lead a healthier lifestyle. And hopeful people often react in healthier ways to stress, helping them recover faster. In addition, more positive individuals are also more likely to adhere to clinical treatment and counseling - because they have higher self-esteem and care for more - and therefore more protective of their health.
In a study of women , published last August, the same researchers found that optimism seems to have an effect on the heart and longevity. That is, behavior can affect life according to how you respond to stress. Pessimism and hostility can lead to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and triggering other risk factors.
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