People with liberal beliefs live longer than conservatives

Sometimes a person who is very interested in politics may claim to be a Democrat to the core or a Republican to the core.

Of course, this applies to the USA, in Bulgaria, rather, the political separation of the members of the society is on the left and the right, and at the moment the latter are predominant. But is there a connection between political beliefs and a person’s state of health?

A recently published study shows that these beliefs can also be a predictor of mortality.

“Political beliefs can be a marker of values ​​that are related to the type of behavior that determines a person’s health status” – this is what the authors of the study reported.

Unfortunately for conservatives and moderates, analysis published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health shows that they are more likely to die earlier than liberals.

According to the authors of the study, however, this does not apply to supporters of Republicans and Democrats in the US, where the average life expectancy does not differ significantly.

Conducting this study is motivated by several previous environmental and multidisciplinary studies suggesting a link between conservative political ideology and better health.

“In the US, researchers theorize that political beliefs are an indicator of religiosity, civic involvement, or values ​​that promote individual responsibility, each of which have been shown to be associated with healthier lifestyles and more acceptable behavior /for example abstinence from alcohol and smoking/ ” – the authors also point out.

The researchers who conducted the current study were concerned, however, that subjective assessment of political ideology could influence the results of health assessments, particularly in cross-sectional studies where data are collected from a single point in time.


Politics and Mortality

To examine these assumptions, the authors of the present study attempted to assess whether life expectancy was somehow related to party affiliation or political ideology, and related to the feeling of good health and happiness.

The scientists used data from a large American study of life expectancy from 2008. The deaths of the 32,830 participants included in the analysis occurred between 1976 and 2008.

This dataset consisted of interviews with individuals in which a set of basic questions were asked. Each year, interviews were conducted with different groups of participants.

While there was no difference in life expectancy between participants who aligned with the Republican and Democratic parties, those who identified as “independent” were significantly less likely to die during the Great American Election study, that is, between 1976 and 2008.

This difference was found after the authors adjusted the data for each participant’s individual variables such as gender, age, education and household income.

At the same time, participants who identified as liberals were less likely to die earlier than those identified as having moderate and conservative views.

This finding remained unchanged after adjusting for individual variables.
Ideology and party affiliation were different predictors of mortality.

The authors of the current study point out that interpretations of their findings should be made with caution, as the study was quite limited in time and many people underwent changes in their political beliefs. The latter especially applies to Bulgaria.

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