Falling in love, having sex and being happy makes you live longer?

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  • #1
timeuser84
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Is it true? what do studies say about this? is there any proof or evidence that supports this?
 

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  • #2
DaveC426913
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What has your research found? What do studies say? Is there any evidence that supports this?
 
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  • #3
jim mcnamara
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You find very little in Biology journals, Psychology has:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332527/
Short answer: yes, there is a relationship.
Try reading the paper. It is not very technical.

Or google for 'NIH life expectancy and positive emotional involvement' for more papers. 'Love [and other keywords]' did not return much. Some anthroplogy papers because, I assume, love is viewed as cultural.

As a biologist, I see most of the resultset of the search I show above as Psychology more than anything else.
 
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  • #5
Astronuc
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(falling in love, having sex) and (being happy makes you live longer) can be mutually exclusive.

There are certainly studies that show being happy contributes to longer life, or conversely being unhappy (stressed, anxious or despaired) can shorten one's life.

I've known lots of couples, who ostensibly fell in love and had intimate relationships only to have those relationships disintegrate for various reasons. I haven't followed many over the course of their lifetimes thought. I only know that the first condition didn't lead to a happy long-term relationship.

On the other hand, I can vouch for my parents' and grandparents' experiences (but that's anecdotal).

An intimate relationship built and trust, mutual respect, and love contributes much to a happy relationship and contributes to longevity (other matters of biology aside). Without trust, mutual respect, and love, an intimate relationship can fall apart, which I have witnessed many times among friends and acquaintances.

More scientific studies have been done, which suggest that unhappy relationships/marriages can adversely affects one's health, and ostensibly shorted one's life span.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/melani...oss-are-shortening-your-life/?sh=bc4e44b59354
Stress Sabotages Your Immune System, Too
This isn't news; study after study has shown that stress raises our risk of cancer, heart disease, allergies, and susceptibility to colds and flu. What's new is that researchers at Carnegie Mellon think they now know how this works. The key, they say, is cortisol, the stress hormone released whenever we feel fear, worry, or anxiety. Cortisol is supposed to give us a jolt of energy, enabling us to react to and run away from the lion as it were. But it appears that when our systems are constantly bathed in cortisol, the body loses its ability to regulate inflammation.

Here's how it works. Cortisol has a secondary function of controlling the body's inflammatory response to immune system triggers. But over time, with constant exposure to stress and therefore cortisol, tissues become less sensitive to cortisol, releasing less of their anti-inflammatory substances. (A similar process occurs with diabetes, as chronically elevated insulin leads to insulin resistance.)
 
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  • #6
Fervent Freyja
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There isn’t any real evidence- unless you count studies involving self-report surveys. Like @jim mcnamara noted, it’s more in the psychology area.

We know and can measure other more reliable variables- surveying marriage against health outcomes is much better than self-reporting variables like sex frequency and happiness:
-Long term social isolation (period) is correlated with poor heart health and death- having a partner/children is protective
-Widowhood is a predictor of mortality in the elderly
-Males take more risks when they are single and have lower life expectancies than those married
-Never being married is a better predictor or worse health outcomes than divorce or widowhood
-Men with slightly younger wives live longer
-Men with slightly older wives do not live longer
-However, an older husband shortens a wives life span
-More incredibly, a younger husband shortens her life span even more than an older one
-Consistently married people live longer than those who remarry often
-Married men are in better general health than those never married, divorced, or widowed
-Married men live longer than those without spouses
-Studies show that unhealthy men marry earlier more often and still have an advantage over unmarried men
-Men married after 25 experience better health and live longer than those who marry earlier
-Those living unmarried with a partner fare better than those living alone
-Never married men are 3x more likely to die from heart disease than married men
-Martial happiness doesn’t influence the overall protective effect of marriage
-Martial stress is linked to heart problems and thickening of the main heart chamber, worse so than job stress
-Unmarried people are more likely to not be diagnosed with their cancer until it is more advanced than those who are married
-Unmarried people are also less likely to receive treatment for their cancer than those married
-Married people who receive a cancer diagnosis have higher survival rates than those who separate after their diagnosis

I’m sure there’s more. There isn’t much controlling for same-sex marriages, but I would say that in male same-sex marriages much of the above could still apply. I wish there were more studies on longevity for women and marriage, but male survival/health seems to be more heavily correlated on whether they have a partner or not!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566023/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100512062631.htm
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1996-02653-003
https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/marriage-and-mens-health
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As far as falling in love, we do know that the hormones and neurotransmitters released during the first phase are pretty powerful and comparable to the effects of cocaine on the brain and body. I would not believe that sustaining that stress long term is healthy. Especially, if a person is prone to constantly falling in-and-out of love/experiencing heartbreak- I would say that it’s destructive on a larger scale.
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I rarely pay attention to studies factoring in happiness- people lie too much, might be in denial, and perceptions can change and are often circumstantial at the time of self-report.
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We already know that sex is great for the brain and body, but I don’t think it has much to do with longevity, other than being a motivator to being healthy/fit to get it?

In many species, we know that the males die immediately after sex; so, there’s that.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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- men with slightly older wives do not live longer
- a younger husband shortens her life span...

So, the upshot here is that I'm not going to live any longer, but I'm going to make sure I take her with me when I go.

...

-Martial happiness doesn’t influence the overall protective effect of marriage
-Martial stress is linked to heart problems

There's a Jackie Chan pun in here somewhere...
 
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  • #8
StevieTNZ
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I did read somewhere (I'll try and find the link) that if you are pessimistic than optimistic, you'll likely to live longer.
 
  • #9
Fervent Freyja
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- men with slightly older wives do not live longer
- a younger husband shortens her life span...

So, the upshot here is that I'm going to live any longer, but I'm going to make sure I take her with me when I go.

...

-Martial happiness doesn’t influence the overall protective effect of marriage
-Martial stress is linked to heart problems

There's a Jackie Chan pun in here somewhere...

Just don’t stress her out any further 😂
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That’s what I thought when I read it!
 
  • #10
Fervent Freyja
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I did read somewhere (I'll try and find the link) that if you are pessimistic than optimistic, you'll likely to live longer.

This shows the opposite, if you meant more pessimistic. It looks like there are a couple others as well. Or did you mean less pessimistic than optimistic?
 
  • #11
DaveC426913
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OP's username is very cleverly chosen.
Well played, OP. Well played.
 
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  • #12
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I worked at the Australian Child Support Agency (CSA) for about 15 years as a programmer, and because I did a combined Math and Computer Science degree, with a significant amount of stats, guess who usually maintained the stats programs, and was asked for advice on what they were saying. One thing was clear - if you are a happily married male you have a higher life expectancy than normal. Females are actually better off single - strange. Divorce, separation etc, especially if you have children, your life expectancy is lowered - even suicide rates are higher (some male advocacy groups blamed it on the way CSA treated men - there was no evidence for that). For males never get married, have children etc and it varies a bit but generally you are better off happily married - if you are better off than unhappily married (but not involved with the CSA) was not something we kept stats on. In stats we always must be carefull in making direct causal connections so we can't say the cause was happy/unhappy relationships, but what I gave you are the facts that I have personally verified.


Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #13
trainman2001
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Louis Black says, "The good die young and the pricks go on forever!" Anecdotal evidence seems to bear this out. Too many despots end up dying of old age (Castro comes to mind). It seems that so many of those succumbing to Covid are people you don't want to lose. Not physics… maybe metaphysics?
 
  • #14
Laroxe
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This does sound like something that many people would want to be true and as people say trying to pin down individual factors that might influence life expectancy especially using self report, from people who share the same value systems doesn't help. A good starting point might be to look at the factors insurance actuaries use because their decisions involve money. They want to know your age, sex, current health, socioeconomic status (income, education), are you a smoker and maybe something that reflects social support like being married. The effects of other factors are generally seen as small or non existent. Even health researchers are aware of the fact that most heath behaviours run together, people tend to engage in several healthy or unhealthy behaviours.
Research on peoples emotional state and health is a minefield, there is a huge body of published work and results to confirm any and every viewpoint. Even one of the most popular ideas about stress which is supported by a theoretical rational linked to cortisol only describes a single action of what is a very complex hormone, essential to life and which is secreted to facilitate the management of stress.
Maybe a starting point would be in providing useful operational definitions of love and happiness, I would drop the sex bit. For significant periods in human history, sex has been a risky business.
 
  • #15
Doug H
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I worked at the Australian Child Support Agency (CSA) for about 15 years as a programmer, and because I did a combined Math and Computer Science degree, with a significant amount of stats, guess who usually maintained the stats programs, and was asked for advice on what they were saying. One thing was clear - if you are a happily married male you have a higher life expectancy than normal. Females are actually better off single - strange. Divorce, separation etc, especially if you have children, your life expectancy is lowered - even suicide rates are higher (some male advocacy groups blamed it on the way CSA treated men - there was no evidence for that). For males never get married, have children etc and it varies a bit but generally you are better off happily married - if you are better off than unhappily married (but not involved with the CSA) was not something we kept stats on. In stats we always must be carefull in making direct causal connections so we can't say the cause was happy/unhappy relationships, but what I gave you are the facts that I have personally verified.


Thanks
Bill
Are there any longevity stats about government interference in people's lives?
 
  • #16
jim mcnamara
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Are there any longevity stats about government interference in people's lives?
No. None that I know about. Plus, it is extremely hard to pin down concepts like 'interference', in order to test the hypothesis. What you deem as interference may not be, in terms of what I see as something else entirely.
 
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  • #17
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Are there any longevity stats about government interference in people's lives?

We didn't keep any. The concern of the CSA was how effective they were. I also worked with a guy doing a PhD in the CSA and that was not part of what he researched.

Thanks
Bill
 

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