This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Here is a good reason to be hopeful
about the future: it might help you stay alive.
Findings from a new study were presented at a recent
meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society. Researchers in the United States
studied one hundred thousand women during an eight-year period, beginning in
nineteen ninety-four. All of the women were fifty years of age or older. The
study was part of the Women's Health Initiative organized by the National
Institutes of Health.
women were asked questions that measured their beliefs or ideas about the
future. The researchers attempted to identify each woman's personality eight
years after gathering the information.
found that hopeful individuals were fourteen percent less likely than other
women to have died from any cause. The hopeful women were also thirty percent
less likely to have died from heart disease after the eight years.
Tindle from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania was
the lead author of the report. She said the study confirmed earlier research
that linked optimistic feelings to longer life.
researchers also gathered information about people's education, financial
earnings, physical activity and use of alcohol or cigarettes. Independent of
those things, the findings still showed that optimists had less of a chance of
dying during the eight-year period.
Some women who answered the questions were found to be
cynically hostile, or highly untrusting of others. These women were sixteen
percent more likely to die than the others. They also were twenty-three percent
more likely to die of cancer.
The study also
found that women who were not optimistic were more likely to smoke and have
high blood pressure or diabetes. They were also more likely not to exercise.
Professor Tindle says the study did not
confirm whether optimism leads to healthier choices, or if it actually affects
a person's physical health. She also says the study does not prove that
negative emotions or distrust lead to bad health effects and shorter life. Yet
there does appear to be a link that calls for more research.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report,
written by Brianna Blake. For more health news, with transcripts and MP3s, go
to voaspecialenglish.com. And you can also follow our reports at
twitter.com/voalearnenglish. I'm Steve Ember.