To determine whether purpose in life is associated with reduced stroke incidence among older adults after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, behavioral, biological, and psychosocial factors. We used prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study of American adults over the age of 50. 6739 adults who were stroke-free at baseline were examined. A multiple imputation technique was used to account for missing data. in life was measured using a validated adaptation of Ryff and Keyes' Scales of Psychological Well-Being. After controlling for a comprehensive list of covariates, we assessed the odds of stroke incidence over a four-year period. We used psychological and covariate data collected in 2006, along with occurrences of stroke reported in 2008, 2010, and during exit interviews. Covariates included sociodemographic factors (age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education level, total wealth, functional status), health behaviors (smoking, exercise, alcohol use), biological factors (hypertension, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, BMI, heart disease), negative psychological factors (depression, anxiety, cynical hostility, negative affect), and positive psychological factors (optimism, positive affect, and social participation). Greater baseline purpose in life was associated with a reduced likelihood of stroke during the four-year follow-up. In a model that adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education level, total wealth, and functional status, each standard deviation increase in purpose was associated with a multivariate-adjusted odds ratio of 0.78 for stroke (95% CI, 0.67–0.91, p =.002). remained significantly associated with a reduced likelihood of stroke after adjusting for several additional covariates including: health behaviors, biological factors, and psychological factors. Among older American adults, greater purpose in life is linked with a lower risk of stroke.
Related Content
Participation in productive activities and depression among older Europeans: Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)
Although engagement in productive activities is associated with favourable outcomes with respect to the health and well-being of older individuals, the association between such activities and depression in older populations remains relatively unexplored. The purpose of this study was to evaluate ...


Factors that influence activities of daily living in the elderly with probable dementia
The aim of the research was to identify the factors that influence activities of daily living (ADL) in the elderly with probable dementia. Factors that influenced ADL were faecal and urinary incontinence, regularity of exercise, MMSE-KC score and stroke history. The factors that affect ADL in the...
Successful Aging Among Older Veterans in the United States
To develop a unidimensional latent model of successful aging and to evaluate sociodemographic, medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial correlates of this construct in a nationally representative sample of older veterans in the United States. Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional web survey of ...


Web-based guided self-help for employees with depressive symptoms (Happy@Work): design of a randomized controlled trial
Depressive disorders are highly prevalent in the working population and are associated with excessive costs for both society and companies. Effective treatment for employees with depressive symptoms in occupational health care is limited. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiven...
Testing bidirectional relationships between marital quality and sleep disturbances: A 4-year follow-up study in a Korean cohort
Both poor marital quality and sleep disturbances are risk factors for a broad range of mental and physical health morbidities. The purpose of the study was to investigate bidirectional relationships between marital quality and sleep disturbance and the moderating effects of age and gender. Data f...

Depression care and treatment in a chronically ill Medicare population
The purpose of this study is to examine depression care among chronically ill Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. This study includes 5898 Medicare Advantage members with a depression diagnosis enrolled between 2008 and 2010 in a care management program. Two depression care indicators were created:...
Health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression in young adults with disability benefits due to childhood-onset somatic conditions
As the treatment of chronic or life-threatening diseased children has dramatically over recent decades, more and more paediatric patients reach adulthood. Some of these patients are successfully integrating into adult life; leaving home, developing psychosocially, and defining a role for themselv...

Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults -- a prospective cohort study
We have previously studied prospective associations between computer use and mental health symptoms in a selected young adult population. The purpose of this study was to investigate if high computer use is a prospective risk factor for developing mental health symptoms in a population-based samp...
Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study
We have previously studied prospective associations between computer use and mental health symptoms in a selected young adult population. The purpose of this study was to investigate if high computer use is a prospective risk factor for developing mental health symptoms in a population-based samp...

Fatigability Disrupts Cognitive Processes' Regulation of Inflammatory Reactivity in Old Age
High fatigability, a dysfunctional adaption to fatigue, may lead to difficulties performing otherwise regularly encountered cognitive activities and may be related to pro-inflammatory reactivity. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of fatigability on cognitive processes and inf...