Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happiness = Longer Life

One of the issues my brain tumor forced me to think about was my longevity. As I went into the operation fully aware that, while the odds were in my favor, I might not survive it.
And while I’ve survived, articles that give me ideas on how to live even longer are still of special interest to me.

The most recent one I read was by Dr. Gov Michaeli who was a professor at the University of California San Francisco before leaving to enter the world of biotech. He is now the founder and CEO of Madah Medica, an early stage biotech company developing products to improve post-surgical pain control.

He recently reported that “There are many studies showing a relationship between happiness and longevity, some of which are scientifically excellent.”

He went on to cite a study from the U.K. which tracked the happiness of 3,800 people ages 52 to 79 over time (yes, I fall in that age group). Here’s his synopsis of the findings of that study: 

“Happiness has been shown before to be a strong factor in longevity. But the magnitude of the effect uncovered in this study is truly surprising. Here they are:Five years on from their assessment, just 3.6 per cent of the happiest participants – those who had the highest positive affect – had died.
In contrast, some 4.6 per cent of those who were averagely happy and 7.3 per cent of the group with the lowest positive affect had died during the same time frame.”

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