Monday, March 12, 2018

Aging Paradox, 2

A study of mental health among individuals over 90 was centered in Cilento, Southern Italy and was part of a larger study called CIAO (Cilento Initiative on Aging Outcomes). Lead author Anna Scelzo reported that as expected, the participants who were over age 90 had poorer physical health—but unexpectedly they had a better level of mental health and well-being. They also had a tendency to be stubborn, domineering, and needed a sense of control, “which can be a desirable trait as they are true to their convictions and care less about what others think.” Dr. Dilip Jeste, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and fellow author, said that the study shows how wisdom and mental well-being can increase with aging even when physical health is declining. He called this phenomenon “the paradox of aging.” The researchers concluded that exceptional longevity was characterized by a balance between acceptance of and grit to overcome adversities along with a positive attitude and close ties to family, religion, and land, providing purpose in life. (

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