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Sustained enjoyment of life found to correlate with mortality at older ages

According to a recently published study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), sustained enjoyment of life during middle-age may be quantitatively correlated with mortality risks at older ages.

WebMD Enjoy Life
The study, entitled “Sustained enjoyment of life and mortality at older ages: analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing,” included nearly 10,000 subjects (aged 50 years or older) surveyed on three occasions between 2002 and 2013. During that time, the subjects were asked to assess their life outlooks by answering questions that evaluated how they enjoyed the things they did.

Results showed that subjects who reported more enjoyment (highest satisfaction scores on all three occasions) were 24% less likely to have died than people who reported no enjoyment. Those who said they were happy on two of the occasions had a 17% lower mortality. These results add to the mounting evidence that life outlook may have a substantial impact on physical health.

What is already known on this topic

  • Subjective wellbeing (feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction with life) has been associated with greater longevity in longitudinal population studies
  • Previous studies have measured wellbeing on a single occasion, and the importance of sustained wellbeing is not known

What this study adds

  • In the present study, a dose-response association was seen between sustained positive wellbeing over several years and all cause mortality
  • These effects remained significant after adjusting statistically not only for demographic and health status, but also adjusting for physical functional impairment and depressive symptoms

Because this was an observational study, causal conclusions cannot be drawn from the data. However, the results add a new dimension to understanding the significance of subjective wellbeing for health outcomes by documenting the importance of sustained wellbeing over time.

One Response to “Sustained enjoyment of life found to correlate with mortality at older ages”

  1. masennus
    February 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

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