Research suggests that having a sense of purpose may add years to a person’s life, regardless of what the purpose is, reports [s]BBC News[/s]. Not only does it contribute to healthy ageing, but it may also stave off early death, according to a study by a US-Canadian team. Dr Patrick Hill, of the department of psychology at [b]Carelton University, Canada[/b], said the notion of living a life of purpose – setting large goals that direct your day-to-day activities – seemed to be protective on a number of fronts. ‘In this study it is mortality, but other studies have shown people report better health.’ Having a life worth living has long been linked with healthy ageing in several cultures, from Japan to the US. But until now, it was thought that being purposeful might help protect older adults more than younger ones, the report says.