An eight-decade long study of 1,500 people has culminated in a new book on what makes a long life -- and some of the findings are surprising.
According to the Publisher Weekly review for "The Longevity Project," UC Riverside health researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin learned that, contrary to popular opinion, "people don't die simply from working hours or from stress, that marriage is no golden ticket to old age, and the happy-all-the-time types may peter out before the serious plodders."
What does predict a long life, personality-wise, is conscientiousness. In an email interview with Time Magazine, Friedman said, "First and most obviously, [conscientious people] are less likely to smoke, drink to excess, abuse drugs or drive too fast. They are more likely to wear seatbelts and follow doctors' orders.
"The most intriguing reason why conscientious people live longer is that having a conscientious personality leads you into healthier situations and relationships," Friedman continues. "In other words, conscientious people find their way to happier marriages, better friendships, and healthier work situations. They help create healthy, long- life pathways for themselves. This is a new way of thinking about health."
Some other highlights, per the Time interview: