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Happiness Doesn’t Mean Longer and Healthier Life

Update Date: Dec 14, 2015 09:35 AM EST

Happiness or sadness does not affect how long you will live, says the latest study conducted by researchers from University of Oxford. Richard Peto and his team of researchers wanted to determine if the commonly held belief that depression contributes to an early death and risk of many diseases is true or not. The study, published in The Lancet, monitored over a million British women between ages 50 and 69 who were participants to another cause-specific mortality study. After 3 years of recruitment, the students were asked how happy they felt in a relaxed, controlled and stresses state of mind. The participants were also asked to rate their health and list any ailments such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. "We aimed to establish whether, after allowing for the poor health and lifestyle of people who are unhappy, any robust evidence remains that happiness or related subjective measures of wellbeing directly reduce mortality," wrote the study authors.

From the study participants of more than 719,671 women, 39% were reported as happy most of the time and 44% were said to be usually happy while 17% were mostly unhappy. Over the 10-year study period, 4% participants died, but the rate of death was no higher for unhappy women as was for the happy ones. "Happiness and related measures of well-being do not appear to have any direct effect on mortality," concluded the researchers, as reported by Laboratory Equipment News.

The study authors said that the happiness and wellness do not have any direct bearing on the person's mortality. "Happiness is very nice", said Peto, who was happy to conclude the study after two years. Hence, the researchers concluded that unhappiness too did not cause increased mortality among the women. The women who had pre-existing life-threatening conditions were removed from the study, said Wakey Wakey News

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