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You will live longer if you TELL people you're healthy, as positive thinking lengthens life Those who feel 'well' outlive those in 'poor' stateTrend remains despite other risk factors
First long-term study to show relationship between self-rated health and mortality
Promoting your own wellbeing will help you live longer, say scientists.
A study found that participants who described feeling 'very well' had a lower risk of dying compared to those who reported being in a 'very poor' state.
Researchers took into account other risk factors affecting life expectancy, including tobacco, chronic diseases, and high blood pressure.
A study found those who promoted their own wellbeing outlived those who were negative about their health
The latest findings support previous studies which suggest positive thinking can promote healing.
In the Seventies more than 8,000 people were asked to self-rate their health and given a medical check-up.
Three decades later the participants were reassessed and scientists discovered that those who initially responded positively, were more likely to outlive those who replied negatively.
Commenting on the findings David Fh, from the University of Zurich said: 'Our results indicate that people who
rate their state of health as excellent have attributes that improve and
sustain their health,
'These might include a positive attitude, an optimistic
outlook and a fundamental level of satisfaction with one's own life.'
The study found men who described their health as 'very poor' were 3.3 times
more likely to have died than those who had felt 'very well'.
While among the female subjects, the likelihood of death was 1.9 times higher.
It is thought that this is the first longitudinal study to demonstrate the link between self-rated health and mortality.
The authors say that the results support the broad concept of health advocated by the World Health Organization, not as the absence of disease, but rather as complete physical, mental and social well being.
David Fh adds: 'Good doctors should therefore not just look for the presence of risk factors or diseases, but also check which health resources their patients have and boost and consolidate them if need be.'
Despite the findings, other experts remain less convinced by the powers of positive thinking.
An analysis of research by Dr James Coyne, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, found that there were no good quality studies showing that ‘positive psychology’ had any effect on physical health.
In one of his own large studies, he found that the sense of emotional wellbeing of cancer patients had no effect on how long they lived.