BOOKWORMS Rejoice! People who indulge in regular book reading are likely to live longer than those who do not read at all, a new study has claimed. Researchers at Yale University in the US used data on 3,635 people over 50 years of age participating in a larger health study.

Participants were divided into three groups: those who read no books, those who read books up to three and a half hours a week, and those who read books more than three and a half hours.

The study found that most of the book readers tended to be female, college-educated and in higher income groups.

Researchers controlled for those factors as well as age, race, self-reported health, depression, employment and marital status.

Compared with those who did not read books, those who read for up to three and a half hours a week were 17 per cent less likely to die over 12 years of follow-up, and those who read more than that were 23 per cent less likely to die.

book-reading-and-living-longerBook readers lived an average of almost two years longer than those who did not read at all, the ‘New York Times’ reported.

Researchers found a similar association among those who read newspapers and periodicals, but it was weaker.

“People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” said the senior author, Becca R Levy, a professor at Yale.

“The survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables,” said Levy.

So all those who are interested in enjoying life a bit longer, try inculcating the habit of book reading without any more loss of time.

The study was published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine

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