The autumn of our lives have long been linked with the transition into grumpy old men and women. However, the middle-aged may actually be the most optimistic of any age group.
People aged between 40 and 60 may well be more ‘glass half-full’ than the young, a survey has discovered.
Researchers who analysed surveys from the US and the Netherlands.
The poll involving more than 30,000 people, found people in their mid-life were more likely to agree with statements such as ‘I expect more good things to happen’.
Experts believe older people, who value balance and contentment in their lives, tend to focus more on happier things.
The early years of marriage may help with positive feelings about the future.
This is except for Germans, who filled out a similar poll.
This revealed the middle-aged were not the most positive group.
Professor William Chopik, co-author of the study from Michigan State University, said: “Part of the reason may be that as people mature they become more competent at what they do.
“Success comes a little easier for them as they master various parts of their lives, so they start to become more optimistic as they reach middle age.
“Also, middle-aged people may start to focus less on getting ahead in life … and instead attend to things which make them happy.”
However, in America and the Netherlands, optimism started to drop-off beyond 60.
Professor Chopik added this is probably ’because it is tied to health and the general outlook people have about getting older.’
The study’s release coincides with news beating diabetes in middle age can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Year after year, numbers continue to spiral upward. At the last count, one in ten Britons over 40 are living with a diagnosis.
This condition now accounts for ten percent of the annual £134 billion National Health Service budget.
And, scientists now believe that the cascade of deadly problems which lead to type 2 diabetes – caused by too much body fat – may also lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
So strong are the associations between the two illnesses that some describe the incurable brain disease as ‘type 3 diabetes’.
One study of people with Alzheimer’s found 81 percent either had diabetes or raised blood sugar levels, putting them on the cusp of developing the full-blown condition.
This offers an incredible opportunity to prevent the brain disease for the first time – by tackling type 2 diabetes early.
It additionally opens the door to potential new treatments for dementia.
Research has discovered cheap diabetes drugs could be used for Alzheimer’s and may even slow the progress of the disease.
The science is still in its early stages, but it could be revolutionary because of the huge numbers it may benefit.
At present, Alzheimer’s drugs only manage symptoms, and in a limited way slightly slow disease progression.
But researchers now think of dementia as part of the spectrum of illnesses linked to metabolic disease – an umbrella term often used to describe the triad of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which commonly occur together and are inextricably linked, each exacerbating the other.
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