Happy? You may live 35% longer, tracking study suggests

USA Today:

No, it’s not that simple, but new research says happy lives are longer — by 35%.

The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that those who reported feeling happiest had a 35% reduced risk of dying compared with those who reported feeling least happy.

Rather than rely on recollections about their feelings of happiness as in earlier studies, this British study of 3,853 participants ages 52-79 rated their feelings at different times on one particular day. Five years later, researchers recorded the number who died and controlled for a variety of factors, including age, gender, health, wealth, education and marital status.

This approach “gets closer to measuring how people actually feel” rather than relying on recollections or general questions about well-being, says epidemiologist Andrew Steptoe, a psychology professor at University College in London, who co-authored the study.

Read the full story: USA Today

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