Italian villages teach secret to live long despite unhealthy lifestyle
New Delhi : Being stubborn and optimist can boost your life span, claims a new study over personality traits.
Researchers finding ways to increase life span of humans focused on nine remote villages in the Cilento region of southern Italy where hundreds of people have age over 90 years. Most people in the villages are fat, drink wine, stay outdoor and even smoke - things doctors advise to ditch for a healthy lifestyle.
While these elders had poorer physical health than younger family members, they had better mental well-being, according to the study.
"There have been a number of studies on very old adults, but they have mostly focused on genetics, rather than their mental health or personalities," said senior author Dr. Dilip Jeste, a professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
"The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with the better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and land," Jeste said in a university news release.
Love of the land was particularly apparent.
"The group's love of their land is a common theme and gives them a purpose in life. Most of them are still working in their homes and on the land. They think, 'This is my life and I'm not going to give it up,'" said study first author Anna Scelzo.
The study was conducted on 29 of the selected men who had age between 90 to 100 years. The findings from it have been published in December 12 edition of the journal International Psychogeriatrics.