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Feeling younger at older age increases well-being in later life

A new study has demonstrated that older people who felt three or more years younger than their age had a lower death rate as compared to those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

Washington: A new study has demonstrated that older people who felt three or more years younger than their age had a lower death rate as compared to those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

The study found out that self-perceived age can reflect assessments of health, physical limitation and well-being in later life, and many older people feel younger than their actual age.

Authors Isla Rippon, M.Sc., and Andrew Steptoe, D.Sc., of the University College London, examined the relationship between self-perceived age and mortality.

The authors used data from a study on aging and included 6,489 individuals, whose average chronological age was 65.8 years but whose average self-perceived age was 56.8 years. Most of the adults (69.6 percent) felt three or more years younger than their actual age, while 25.6 percent had a self-perceived age close to their real age and 4.8 percent felt more than a year older than their chronological age.

According to the authors, the mechanisms underlying these associations merit further investigation and possibilities include a broader set of health behaviors than they measured (such as maintaining a healthy weight and adherence to medical advice), and greater resilience, sense of mastery and will to live among those who feel younger than their age.

The study was published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. 

 

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