Previous studies suggest optimism contributes to a range of favorable physical health outcomes as well as greater success in work, school and relationships.
Now a new meta-analysis reviewing 15 studies – JAMA Network Open – examining optimism, pessimism and health also supports this relationship.
Data on 209,436 people found that compared with pessimists, people with the most optimistic outlook had a 35 percent lower risk for cardiovascular events.
Data on 188,599 participants found that optimists had a 14 percent lower risk of premature death than the most pessimistic people.
Note the studies had an average 14-year follow-up and controlled for various known health and behavioral characteristics.
It seems optimists have better health behaviors: More likely to exercise, have a better diet & there is evidence of direct biological effects — less inflammation and fewer metabolic abnormalities. – Dr. Alan Rozanski