Study: Reading books leads to long life

WASHINGTON — The latest key to a long life may be as close as your local library.

A new study suggests that people who read a lot of books tend to live longer.  And it doesn’t matter whether it is Harry Potter or “War and Peace”— it is the time spent reading that counts.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Public Health crunched data on 3,635 people older than 60 who took part in a health survey that included questions on reading.

They were split into three groups: those who read up to three and a half hours a week; those who read more; and those who never picked up a book at all.

After controlling for factors such as age, gender, education and income, the researchers found that, in general, those who read books lived up to two years longer than those who did not.

The benefit rose with the amount of time spent reading.  The researchers also found that reading newspapers and magazines helped, too, but not as much as books.

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

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