Article Abstract

Editorial on “Optimism and cause-specific mortality: a prospective cohort study”

Authors: Enying Gong, Lijing L. Yan


The research interest in the effect of psychological factors such as optimism on physical health has increased substantially over the past decades. Studies based on cross-sectional or longitudinal data have demonstrated that optimism not only has an impact on general well-being and mental health, but also is associated with physical health. A meta-analysis published in 2009 summarized results from 83 studies investigating the effect of dispositional optimism on physical outcomes. This review showed that optimism was a significant predictor of positive physical health outcomes, including lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, reduced level of painfulness, better physical functioning, reduced risk of diseases, and reduced rate of death (1).