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[Perspectives] Destroyed but not defeated—The Old Man and the Sea

Do traits like positivity, stubbornness, and hard work affect longevity? One study of Italian nonagenarians and centenarians suggested that the answer is yes. Researchers reported that, despite their declining physical health, this group of older Italians continued to control their social lives and refused to stop working the land. Their “exceptional longevity”, the authors suggested, was intimately linked to “a balance between acceptance of and grit to overcome adversities”, and a commitment to their purpose in life.