Purpose and Meaning Help Seniors Live Longer
May 01, 2016 01:00AM
Connection to Longevity
The study followed subjects that averaged 65 years old at the start for eight-and-a-half years. During that period, 9 percent of those with the highest levels of well-being died. Among those with the lowest levels of well-being, 29 percent passed away during the same period.
The study was led by Professor Andrew Steptoe, director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, who explains, “These analyses show that the meaningfulness and sense of purpose that older people have in their lives are also related to survival.” The mechanisms for this effect are still largely unknown. “There are several biological mechanisms that may link well-being to improved health, such as through hormonal changes or reduced blood pressure,” he says.