Experiencing gratitude linked to longevity in older women

Experiencing gratitude linked to longevity in older women

MONDAY, July 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Experiencing gratitude is associated with longer lifespan in older women, according to a study published online July 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Ying Chen, Sc.D., of the Human Flourishing Program at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues examined the association between gratitude and total and cause-specific mortality in later life. The analysis included data from 49,275 U.S. older female registered nurses (mean age, 79 years) who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study (2016 to 2019).

The researchers found that greater baseline gratitude was monotonically associated with lower risk of mortality. The highest versus lowest tertile of gratitude was associated with lower risk of all causes of death (hazard ratio, 0.91), after adjusting for baseline sociodemographic characteristics, social participation, religious involvement, physical health, lifestyle factors, cognitive function, and mental health. Death from cardiovascular disease was also inversely associated with gratitude (hazard ratio, 0.85).

“Previous research suggests that there are ways to intentionally promote gratitude, such as writing down or discussing what you’re grateful for a few times a week,” Chen said in a statement. “Promoting healthy aging is a public health priority, and we hope that further studies will improve our understanding of gratitude as a psychological resource for extending lifespan.”

One author indicated affiliation with Flourishing Metrics.

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