So some of the roughly $3.8 trillion in U.S. medical spending could be defrayed, it seems, with purposeful cultivation of community and meaning. Only around 4 percent of U.S. health expenditures go to prevention, and most adults are delinquent in their recommended health screening. Those statistics converge with past research that shows that purpose is associated with things like exercise and intentional relaxation. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that greater purpose in life was associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Kim’s own past research has found that a sense of purpose predicts fewer subsequent strokes and heart attacks.