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Optimists lower risk of death

Posted - Nov. 1, 2004 at 4:20 p.m.



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DELFT, Netherlands, Nov 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Highly optimistic patients have lower risks of death in general as well as lower rates of cardiovascular death than pessimists, a Dutch study found.

Dr. Erik J. Giltay, of the Psychiatric Center GGZ Delfland, in Delft, the Netherlands analyzed data from about 1,000 patients of the Arnhem Elderly Study and questioned them on their health, self-respect, morale, optimism and relationships.

Participants reporting high levels of optimism had a 55 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 23 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death.

"We found that the trait of optimism was an important long-term determinant of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in elderly subjects independent of sociodemographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors," the authors wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"A predisposition toward optimism seemed to provide a survival benefit in elderly subjects with relatively short life expectancies otherwise."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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