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Dim view of future may actually help people live longer

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 11:00 hrs

Berlin, Feb 28 (IANS) Old people harbouring an unsatisfactory attitude and negative outlook towards the future could live longer and healthier, says a German study.

Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future are more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

"Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade," said lead author Frieder R. Lang, Ph.D., of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

"Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions," Lang said. The study was published online in the journal Psychology and Aging.

Because a darker outlook on the future is often more realistic, older adults' predictions of their future satisfaction may be more accurate, according to the study, reports Science Daily.

"Unexpectedly, we also found that stable and good health and income were associated with expecting a greater decline compared with those in poor health or with low incomes," Lang said. "Moreover, we found that higher income was related to a greater risk of disability."




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