Optimism and Health
The statistics provided below clearly demonstrate a direct correlation between optimism and physical health benefits. Interestingly, studies have found that approximately 25% of a person's optimism is genetically programmed.
Statistics Illustrating the Connection Between Optimism and Physical Health Benefits
- A study of approximately 300,000 individuals, which was led by Dr. Alan Rozanski of Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, found "that people who have an optimist perspective towards life were 35% less likely to develop heart disease than people who have a pessimistic perspective towards life."
- A study led by Boston University School of Medicine's Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Lewina Lee, which "was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", found that "men and women with the highest levels of optimism had an 11% to 15% longer life span on average than those who practiced little positive thinking."
- The aforementioned Boston University study also "found [that] women with the highest levels of optimism had 1.5 greater odds of living to 85 or beyond, compared to those with the lowest levels of optimism." The odds were even better among men, as "highly optimistic men had 1.7 greater odds of living to that age [85+] over the more pessimistic [men]."
- A study conducted by Lisa Yanek (M.P.H.) of Johns Hopkins found that "[p]eople with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook. "
- The aforementioned Johns Hopkins study also found that "positive people from the general population were 13 percent less likely than their negative counterparts to have a heart attack or other coronary event."
- A University of Illinois study that included over 5,100 adults "found that those who were the most optimistic were 76 percent more likely to have health scores in an ideal range."