Want to live longer? Have strong purpose.

Purpose helps people live longer while lacking a strong purpose leads to shorter life according to a new study.

The mechanisms for which life purpose may affect longevity are thought to be associated with increased well-being. Previous research suggests that greater sense of well-being was associated with lower cortisol levels and lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines which decrease expression of pro-inflammatory genes. No known studies have looked at interventions in purposeful living and associated effects on inflammatory biomarkers.

Cause specific mortality was less clear vs all-cause mortality with associations evident in only heart and blood diseases, and digestive tract system disease.

The entire study may be read at Jama Network Open Journal

Reference:
Alimujiang A, Wiensch A, Boss J, et al. Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e194270. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4270

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