In this week’s news round-up we discover that having an optimistic outlook could mean you are more likely to live longer. Whilst the Abbeyfield Society is looking for two former schoolgirls who contacted an 80-year-old living in their London home 60 years ago. Along with a new tool that looks at over 14 biomarkers could foretell a person’s risk of dying.
Could you live longer with an optimistic outlook?
According to a US study, positive people were more likely to live to an age of 85 or more. Examining two groups of people, one with over 70,000 participants and the other with 1,500 they assessed their overall optimism. Along with their overall health levels. Including, diets, exercise and whether they drank or smoked. They found that on average the most optimistic people had an 11-15% longer lifespan.
Prof Lewina Lee, associate professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, who worked on the study, said: “Our findings speak to the possibility that raising levels of optimism may promote longevity and healthy ageing.
Tracing Newcastle schoolgirls who wrote letters 60 years ago
60 years ago, Shelia Scott and Brenda Barker of Newcastle wrote to pensioner named Mr Halnan. Mr Halnan lived in a London home run by the Abbeyfield Society. The society was set up by Richard Carr-Gomm and he kept the letters. Which were then donated back to the society two years ago, after Mr Carr-Gomm died. The society wanted to see whether they could find the girls as according to Sarah Heaney, the research manager there they are “two extraordinary letters from two ordinary schoolgirls.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Abbeyfield Society’s national headquarters.
New blood test could predict your risk of dying
A team led by researchers at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands has identified fourteen biomarkers. These biomarkers together could predict your likelihood of dying in the next 5 to 10 years. It’s the largest study of its kind to date and was based on the blood samples from 44,168 people.
The implications of such a test could be far-reaching. For many it may be the case they would rather not know. For people like doctors, this could be valuable when diagnosing health issues. However, there are a lot of ethical implications to go alongside that too, such as would life insurance companies get access to these test.