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Positive attitude plays role in longevity

June 6, 2012 at 1:58 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 6 (UPI) -- A positive attitude and a sense of humor might play a role in living a longer, healthier life, U.S. researchers suggested.

Study co-author Dr. Nil Barzilai, director of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Institute for Aging Research in New York, and colleagues developed a questionnaire designed to identify certain genetically based personality traits, and used it to assess 243 Ashkenazi Jewish adults ages 95-107, ABC-TV News reported.

Barzilai said the researchers chose this population because of genetic similarity to make it easier to account for genetic differences in personality.

The study, published in the journal Aging, found those who lived to a ripe old age had a positive attitude for life. They were optimistic, easygoing, extroverted, laughed more and expressed emotions -- and they were less neurotic and more conscientious than a representative sample of other Americans.

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