(ORDO NEWS) — American scientists analyzed a large and diverse sample of older US residents to find out how the presence of a goal in life and the pursuit of it affect the likelihood of death.
A growing body of research shows that purposefulness the ability to overcome obstacles on the way to a goal, remember it and not give up not only helps to realize dreams, but is also good for health.
For example, it has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, better sleep, and improved cognitive function.
In a new study by scientists from the Boston University School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health. T. H. Chana (USA) reported that people who are purposeful have a lower probability of death, regardless of the cause. The results are presented in the journal Preventive Medicine.
“During previous research, we found that the impact of a goal on reducing all-cause mortality can differ depending on socioeconomic status.
Now we have expanded on the previous data and learned that the positive effect of the goal is maintained regardless of gender and race, ”said Dr. Koichiro Shiba, head of the scientific team.
The researchers used data from the Health and Retiment Study, a national study of American adults aged 50 and over.
The sample included 13,159 people who filled out the questionnaire “Scale of psychological well-being” by K. Riff, which allows you to assess various aspects of well-being and happiness.
In addition, the authors studied the risk of mortality over an eight-year period from 2006-2008. During this time, 3253 participants died (24.7%).
In general, the most goal-oriented people had a lower risk of mortality compared to those for whom the goal in life was not so important: the figure was 15.2% and 36.5%, respectively.
Next, the researchers tested whether gender and race/ethnicity affected the relationship between purposefulness and mortality.
“There was modest evidence that the highest level of goal-seeking correlated with an even lower risk of all-cause mortality in women (hazard ratio = 0.66) compared to men (hazard ratio = 0.80).
However, we did not see any indication that the effect varies by race/ethnicity. Having a stronger sense of purpose protects against mortality from all causes.
Goal – a potentially modifiable factor – can be an asset for maintaining health in various populations, ”the researchers concluded.
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