Minerva

Meaning in life and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1807 (Published 08 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1807

People who have a purpose in life live longer, and they are also less likely to have large brain infarcts. There is a 10 point scoring system for measuring purpose in life, derived from Ryff’s and Keyes’s scales of psychological wellbeing. It is used annually in the ongoing Rush Memory and Aging Project, which recruits community living people at a mean age of 84 years. So far, purpose of living scores and the rate of cerebral infarction at postmortem have been compared in 453 participants (Stroke 2015, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.008010). People who had meaning in their lives during their 80s were half as likely to show macroscopic cerebral infarcts after they had died. Makes you think, as they say in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.

More than a thousand pregnant women took part in a Canadian study aiming to discover whether carrying a male fetus increased the risk of gestational diabetes (Diabetes …

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