The Association for Psychological Science’s journal *Psychological
Science* has scheduled for publication in a future issue an article:
“Age Stereotypes Held Earlier in Life Predict Cardiovascular Events in
Later Life.”

The authors are Becca R. Levy, Alan B. Zonderman, Martin D. Slade, &
Luigi Ferrucci.

Here’s how the article begins: “When older individuals apply negative
age stereotypes to themselves, they can adversely influence a wide range
of outcomes (Levy, Slade, Kunkel, & Kasl, 2002). These outcomes include
a greater cardiovascular response to stress and worse health behaviors,
such as higher tobacco use (Levy, Hausdorff, Hencke, & Wei, 2000; Levy &
Myers, 2004), both of which have been linked to the risk of
cardiovascular events (Jiang et al., 1996). We consider here for the
first time whether negative stereotypes held earlier in life have
consequences for health in later life. We predicted that younger
individuals who held more negative age stereotypes would have a greater
likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular events up to 38 years later
than individuals with more positive age stereotypes.”

Here’s how the Discussion section starts: “As predicted, among
participants age 49 and under, those who held negative age stereotypes
were significantly more likely to experience a cardiovascular event in
the following 38 years
than those with positive age stereotypes, after
adjusting for a number of relevant variables. A similar effect occurred
in a subgroup of participants under age 40 who experienced
cardiovascular events after turning 60–an interval of more than two decades.”

Here’s how the article ends: “The strength of the association between
negative age stereotypes and risk of cardiovascular events in the final
model is notable. If an individual’s age stereotypes became more
negative by one point, the risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event
would increase by 11%. Conversely, if an individual’s age stereotypes
increased in positivity by two standard deviations on the age-stereotype
scale, this would lead to an 80% reduction in the risk of experiencing a
cardiovascular event.
The study suggests that age stereotypes
internalized earlier in life can have a far-reaching effect on health.
In turn, this finding suggests that programs aimed at reducing the
negative age stereotypes of younger individuals could benefit their
cardiovascular health when they become older individuals.”

The author note provides the following info: Becca R. Levy, Yale School
of Public Health, 60 College St., New Haven, CT 06520-8034, e-mail:
<becca.levy@yale.edu>.

Courtesy of Ken Pope

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