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Psychological Factors May Help Predict Mortality Risk

Psychological Factors May Help Predict Mortality Risk

After the analysis of 65 different variables from almost 30 years of data, researchers identified two strong psychological factors of mortality risk. The first is the self-assessment of one's own health, and the second is mental processing speed. This means that those who perceive themselves to be unhealthy, as well as those who have a decreased speed of mental processing, are more likely to have a high mortality risk. In fact, these two factors had a stronger correlation to high mortality risk than factors like unhealthy behavior and chronic medical conditions. Keep reading to learn more about these psychological factors.

Psychological Factors | Determinants of Mortality Risk!

In this Article:

Data Gathering and Research!

Assessing the data gathered from over 6,000 patients, researchers analyzed the cognitive performance of intelligence, verbal and visual memory, and processing speed gathered over a 12-year period.

In addition, researchers also measured participants' reported self-assessment of their perceived health, number of prescription medications, sleep habits, hobbies, and social activities.

Data Results!

Data Results | Psychological Factors May Help Predict Mortality Risk | Mental Processing


Ultimately, after analyzing the 65 different variables gathered, researchers found that subjective health and mental processing speed were two of the top predictors of mortality risk. Specifically, they also found better-perceived health and slower decreases in mental processing overtime to be linked to lower risks of early death.

Other findings of the study demonstrated that female participants have a lower risk of early death than male participants and a clear connection between the years of smoking and an increased risk of early death.

What Does This Mean for Me?

The findings of this study demonstrate that your assessment of your current levels of health is much more accurate than initially thought, especially when predicting the risk of early death. Decreases in mental processing speed were also a significant predictor of mortality risk. We know from the previous studies that maintaining healthy fitness levels during middle age slows cognitive decline and loss of brain volume later in life. The research findings here confirm that individuals are in control of their physical and mental health, both the current and the future, and their assessment of personal health levels is a very accurate account of their risk of mortality.

This also means that if you perceive yourself as being in poor health or facing health-related risks, you may be correct and should speak to a medical professional about your concerns.

Closely self-monitor these psychological factors. Since we have full control over our physical and mental health, we should start living healthy. Let's make the most out of our psychological well-being.

What are your thoughts on this research? Share them in the comments section below.

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Editor’s Note - This post was originally published on April 27, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.