Purposeful living is a self-organizing life aim to stimulate goals, promote healthy behaviors and give meaning to life. Many of us are most likely agree that having a sense of purpose in life is associated with overall both physical and mental health quality of life. Needs a scientific proof to this? This article showed a very interesting association of life purpose with all-cause mortality in older adults. The study analyzed a total of 6,985 individuals between 50-60 year. Hazard ratio, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.57-3.75, comparing those in the lowest life purpose category with those in the highest life purpose category. There were also significant association between life purpose and specific cause mortality attributed to heart, circulatory and blood conditions. There are several possible mechanisms through which life purpose might potentially be associated with mortality such decreased expression of proinflammatory genes in purposeful living (studied by Fredrickson et al), lower cortisol and proinflammatory cytokines in purposeful living (studied by Ryff et all), elevated inflammatory markers such as CRP and inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 in those without low to no purposeful living (studied by Harris et, Reuben et al and De Martinis et al).
- Alimujiang A, Wiensch A, Boss J, Fleischer NL, Mondul AM, McLean K, Mukherjee B, Pearce CL. Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 May 3;2(5):e194270. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4270. PMID: 31125099; PMCID: PMC6632139.