Stronger life purpose linked to decreased mortality

Finding a purpose in life is not only fulfilling, it may also help people live longer, according to new research published in JAMA Network Open.

In a study of nearly 7,000 adults over age 50, a stronger sense of purpose in life was associated with lower all-cause mortality, even when adjusted for sociodemographic and health characteristics and psychological well-being constructs. Researchers also found a correlation between life purpose and some specific causes of death, such as those related to heart, circulatory and blood conditions.

Researchers used a questionnaire to calculate a composite life purpose score for each study participant in 2006 and again in 2010. These scores were stratified into five categories and compared to mortality data.

Volunteering, therapy, meditation and mindfulness are often used to improve a person's sense of purpose. More research is needed to understand how those interventions influence population-level health outcomes like mortality.

Read more about the study here.

 

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