Continuous enjoyment in old age was associated with a low mortality rate - the more elderly people enjoy life, the lower the probability of death, say researchers in an article published in the journal BMJ.
"We can not say what is cause and what is the consequence in this case. However, these results lead us to take a fresh look at how the sense of their own well-being affects human health. This is supported by the fact that high or low levels of happiness caused similar changes in life expectancy, "- says Andrew Stepto (Andrew Steptoe) from university college London (UK).
Stepto and his colleagues came to this conclusion by observing the state of health and the ups and downs of life around ten thousand Britons, who were at least 50 years old at the start of the experiment in 2002. Over the next 14 years, doctors followed the lives of their charges, noting how good or bad they feel.
During this time, it died about 1.3 thousand participants in the experiment, which allowed the authors of the article evaluate how the inner happiness and enjoyment of life influence on life expectancy.
It turned out that such a connection really is - people who are in all three surveys conducted Stepto and his colleagues said that they are happy with their lives, about 24% less likely to die than the rest of the experiments. Seniors who feel a little worse, and talked about the well-being only two of the three surveys, died a little more often, but still 17% less than the rest of the experiments.
Of course, this can mean not only that happiness prolongs life, but the opposite - that centenarians often feel happier and less likely to suffer from diseases and personal failures than people living a relatively short time. Check this, if it is possible, will be the subject of further research Stepto and his colleagues.