Monthly Archives: December, 2015
Here’s another reason to be happy – or not, depending on your disposition: Happiness may not be as strongly linked to longevity as previous research had indicated. A huge new study in The Lancet finds that among 700,000 women in Britain, those who were happy vs. unhappy had about the same risk of mortality over the years. Though being unhappy – or depressed, lonely, or stressed – may make you less apt to take care of your health in any number of ways, as the study reports, it may not itself make you less any healthy. And this is somewhat different from what other research had found in the past.
The researchers, led by the University of Oxford’s Professor Sir Richard Peto, looked at data from the UK Million Women Study, which tracked women’s health outcomes over the long term. At the beginning of the study, the women were on average 59 years old and none had any serious health issues like heart disease, cancer, stroke, or chronic obstructive lung disease. They were given questionnaires about their mental health and well-being near the beginning of the study: 39% of the women reported being happy most of the time, 44% said they were usually happy, and 17% said they were unhappy.