These days it’s certainly hard to trust everyone, but it turns out, being a suspicious person can lead to an early death.

A new study out of Stockholm University looked at health and attitudes of 25,000 Americans finds that people who are more trusting of strangers live longer lives, while those who are distrusting, or live in areas with a lot of distrust, have a better chance of dying early. In fact, those who trust strangers had a 17% lower risk of early death than those who were distrusting of them.

As for why, the researchers suggest it could simply be that those who are more trusting of people tend to socialize more and have less stress, two factors linked to good health. 

The study also noted the areas in the U.S. with the most and least distrusting people. Overall, researchers found that U.S., states like Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Missouri, are the most trusting, with 49% of people saying most folks can be trusted. As for the least trusting, that was in states like Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, where only 27% of people said most folks can be trusted.


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