Study suggests liberals may live longer
Here's some research that's bound to stir up debate. According to a new study at the University of Nevada, people whose political beliefs skew more liberal may be less likely to die early compared to conservatives or moderates. But, note the study's offer, the higher risk of death did not seem to apply to political party affiliation--they found no difference in the risk of death between people who identified themselves as Democrats and those who said they were Republicans.
To conduct their study, researchers analyzed information from about 33,000 people in the U.S. who completed a survey about their political beliefs. The researchers also used information from the National Death Index to determine whether participants died between 1976 and 2008. People identified as holding conservative or moderate ideologies were 6 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with people who identified with liberal ideologies.
Furthermore, while Democrats and Republicans did not differ in their risk of dying during the study period, the results showed that independents were less likely to die during the study period than Democrats. The findings held after researchers took into account factors that might affect people's risk of dying over a given time, including their household income, race, gender and where they lived.
The new findings contradict previous studies that have tended to find that conservatives and Republicans were more likely to say they were in good health than liberals and Democrats; however, the team suggests that a person's risk of dying is an objective measure of their health, whereas a person's perception of their health is more subjective.