Can A Sense Of Purpose In Life Reduce Risk Of Stroke?

Purpose in life involves having meaning and being goal-directed. It changes little over time and may be a personality trait, which is not modifiable. Many studies have shown that positive psychological factors such as having a purpose in life are important in health outcomes. A new study shows that a 1-point increase in the score of a rating scale for “purpose in life” reduced the odds of having stroke by about 50%.

The reason is not clear. Possibly, these people had healthier lifestyles. It is important to understand what can motivate you, and in older adults, this may include volunteering, learning new skills, or being part of a community.

See Stroke, 2015, Volume 46, page 1071-1076.

Jack Florin, MD

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