Happy people 35pc less likely to die early

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2011, 13:18 PM IST

London: A new study has found that people who are happy and have a positive outlook live longer – and the higher your levels of contentment, the lower your risk of premature death.

The five-year-long study includes 4,000 participants aged 52 to 79-year-olds revealed that those who reported higher levels of contentment had a 35 per cent lower risk of premature death.

The University College of London researchers hope their findings will promote ‘positive well-being’ as a remedy for stress and ill health.

Participants involved in the study were asked to rate their feelings of happiness or anxiety four times over the course of a day. The number of deaths was then recorded over a five-year period.

After taking into account age, gender, depression, certain diseases and health-related behaviours the scientists found those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 per cent reduced risk of dying early compared with those who reported feeling least happy.

“The present findings provide further reason to target the positive well-being of older people,” the Daily Mail quoted lead researcher Professor Andrew Steptoe as saying.