January 9, 2007


Yet another worry for those who believe the glass is half-empty (Richard A. Friedman, 1/09/07, International Herald Tribune)

A study by researchers in the Netherlands has found that people who are temperamentally pessimistic are more likely to die of heart disease and other causes than those who are by nature optimistic. [...]

[The study, led by Dr. Erik J. Giltay of the Psychiatric Center GGZ Delfland and published in The Archives of General Psychiatry] found that subjects with the highest level of optimism were 45 percent less likely than those with the highest level of pessimism to die of all causes during the study. For those in the quartile with the highest optimism score, the death rate was 30.4 percent; those in the most pessimistic quartile had a death rate of 56.5 percent. There were 397 deaths in the study, and prevention of cardiovascular mortality accounted for nearly half of the protective effects of optimism. [...]

Up to this point there has been solid evidence that certain pathological mental states, like depression, are linked with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular death, but the relationship between normal personality traits like optimism and health have not been as thoroughly studied.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2007 12:44 PM
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