BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Today brings great new for generally unhappy people everywhere, but they probably won’t care anyway. Curmudgeons, rejoice: Unhappiness not linked with risk of illness.
A new study, led by Dr. Bette Liu from the University of New South Wales in Australia, looked into the longtime present myth that happiness or lack thereof can affect one’s health.
The research was performed using data from a long-running study, using a sample of 1 million women in the UK. The 10 year long UK Million Women Study focused on, well, 1 million British women, and on their way of life.
Out of the 1 million women, roughly 30,000 died since the beginning of the study, and the data from them, as well as from the still alive ones, was used for the new research. Sir Richard Peto led the initial million women study, and was lead author for the new one.
During the ‘90s, the participants also took part in a breast cancer screening program. Over the years, they were asked questions regarding their levels of stress, happiness, health, relaxation, and feelings of control.
Five out six of the remaining subjects claimed that they maintained a generally happy outlook regarding life, and that they didn’t really suffer from long periods of unhappiness. The ones who did claim unhappiness, did so because of a variety of factors, like addiction, lack of exercise and an inexistent or dead life partner.
The results of both the living and the dead subjects were analyzed, and the findings came back unsurprising for the researchers.
Apparently, the death rates for the happy and unhappy subjects were pretty much the same. There were absolutely no indications that the unhappy women died at a higher rate than the happy ones.
But the study doesn’t stop there.
No connection could be found between the health levels and the happiness levels of the participants. Indeed, it was true that illness would, in almost all of the cases, lead to unhappiness, but the reverse was not applicable.
The scientists found no evidence to link either death or illness to being unhappy.
So, as I stated at the beginning of the article, curmudgeons, rejoice: unhappiness not linked with risk of illness.
Image source: Flickr