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Enjoyment of life ‘key to living longer’

October 17, 2012

Those who enjoy life the most are three times more likely to live a little longer than those who enjoy it the least, a study of ageing suggests.

University College London researchers' study of 10,000 English people also suggested future disability and poor health could be predicted by the state of a person's mind.

The team said the effects were "large" and independent of age, sex and wealth.

Happiness could be used to spot people at risk of ill health, they added.

Researchers tracked the psychological well-being of 10,000 people aged 50 to 100 over nine years as part of the university's English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

They interviewed the participants three times between 2002 and 2011, assessing them using three measures of psychological well-being and testing their enjoyment of life with a series of questions.

They found that those recorded as having the greatest enjoyment of life at first interview were more likely than other participants to still be alive nine or 10 years later.

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