Attitude influences death risk, study finds

Those who consider themselves to be in good health tend to live longer, a Swiss study has found.

This content was published on February 9, 2012 - 23:01
swissinfo.ch and agencies

In the late 1970s researchers at Zurich University asked 8,250 Swiss people to gauge their health. Each participant was given a health check-up at the same time.

Now more than 30 years later, the researchers have been able to see how a person’s attitude can influence when he or she dies.

The study published on Thursday in the on-line PLoS ONE scientific journal revealed that men who had described their health as “very poor” were 3.3 times more likely to have died by now than those who had felt “very well”. Among the women, the death risk was 1.9  times higher.

The researchers took into account such factors as whether the people smoked, had a chronic illness, took medication or had blood pressure problems.

While the researchers point out that optimism was not enough to ensure good health, they conclude that people who feel well possess the resources to support and maintain their health.

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