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29.04.2012


Contented men live longer, contented women don't

If you are contented with your lot in life, then you'll live longer: 'life satisfaction' is a longevity factor. At least, it is if you're a man. According to a study that epidemiologists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen published in BMC Public Health, contentedness is not a significant factor in women.

The researchers followed a group of 2675 German men and women for 12 years, from 1995 to 2007. When the study started the participants were aged between 25 and 74. At the start of the study the researchers asked 'How satisfied were you with your personal life in the last month?' The researchers then divided the participants according to their answers into low, medium and high life-satisfaction groups.

Among the men, the higher their life satisfaction was, the lower their mortality risk. A high degree of life satisfaction almost halved their mortality risk, but in women life satisfaction had no influence on this at all.


Contented men live longer, contented women don't


Contented men live longer, contented women don't


In both men and women their life satisfaction decreased as they aged. The researchers believe this is because contentedness is greater among people who can rely on a social network, and those in good health. As people get older they often become lonelier and less healthy.

One theory that the researchers put forward is that women are better able to deal with setbacks and disappointments. Female coping skills help women to get through life despite disappointments, and without this affecting their mortality risk. Men either don't have these skills or have less of them. If men want to live longer, they'll have to make sure that life gives them what they need.

Source:
BMC Public Health. 2011 Jul 20;11:579.

More:
Contented people live longer 22.04.2012