HealthDay News — Negative affect that lingers is associated with worse physical health outcomes almost 10 years later, according to a study published online March 19 in Psychological Science.

Kate A. Leger, Ph.D., from the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues examined the correlation between negative affect that lingers a day after a minor stressor and health-related outcomes. A total of 1,155 participants in a community-based nationwide study answered questions regarding daily stressors and affect across eight consecutive days. Almost 10 years later they were questioned about their physical health.

The researchers found that in multilevel models, heightened levels of negative affect were experienced the day after a stressor occurred. There was a correlation for higher levels of lingering negative affect with greater numbers of chronic conditions and worse functional limitations almost 10 years later.

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“Findings suggest that affective recovery from daily stressors has unique importance for long-term physical health,” the authors write.

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