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