This article advances the idea that a positive attitude is conducive to longevity. As a senior citizen, 87, looking at my contemporaries, I wonder about that. Possibly, the good health prompted the positive attitude as much as the attitude influenced the health.

Wayne Lewis
Gate, Okla.

While the researchers accounted for some confounding factors, they did not take into account the genetics of longevity. If your parents and grandparents had vigorous elder years, you may hope to as well, from a purely genetic standpoint.

Pam Jenkins
Lyme, N.H.

I suspect that what’s really been studied here is the tendency in life for healthier people to feel more optimistic about their encroaching age than do those poor souls who feel the early creaking and malaise of a variety of insidious diseases.

Kirsten Rhodes
Cambridge, Mass.