Age is just a number as anyone who feels younger than his biological age would want to say. A new British study now goes on to suggest that feeling younger than one’s age and feeling ‘young at heart’ could actually be one of the keys to longevity. Researchers studied people over an eight year period and observed that those who felt at least three years younger than their biological age were seen to have a lower death rate than those who felt like the number of years against their age or, in certain cases, even older.
Data collected from 6,489 adults aged 52 or more in England was studied and analyzed by researchers at the University of College London and the International Longevity Centre-UK and they found that about 25 percent of people who felt older than their actual age died, compared with about 14 percent of people who felt younger than their true age and almost 19 percent who felt their age.
Further, those who felt at least one year older than their actual age were 41% more likely to die within eight years than were those who felt at least three years younger than the age listed on their birth certificates.
The finding was published Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Volunteers who enrolled them in the study were all asked, “How old do you feel you are?” Although the average actual age of the volunteers was 65.8 years old, their average self-perceived age was significantly lower – only 56.8 years old.
The feeling that one’s true age is lower than one’s chronological age was widespread in the study sample. Fully 69.6% of the volunteers felt at least three years younger, while only 4.8% felt more than one year older. The remaining 25.6% felt “about their actual age,” the researchers wrote.
The findings of this study could help doctors pinpoint patients who need help most urgently in future, wrote down the authors of this study. Those feeling older than their age could be sent messages and feelers to promote positive attitude towards aging.