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Sense of purpose in life linked to lower mortality and cardiovascular risk

‘Sense of purpose in life linked to lower mortality and cardiovascular risk’, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151203112844.htm, ScienceDaily (December 3, 2015).

Randy Cohen, Chirag Bavishi, Alan Rozanski. Purpose in Life and Its Relationship to All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Events. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000274

Basic mechanisms

The analysis showed a lower risk of death for participants with a high sense of purpose in life. After adjusting for other factors, mortality was about one-fifth lower for participants reporting a strong sense of purpose, or ikigai. (…) While further studies are needed to determine how purpose in life might promote health and deter disease, preliminary data suggest a few basic mechanisms. The association might be explained physiologically, such as by buffering of bodily responses to stress; or behaviorally, such as by a healthier lifestyle.

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