Unhappiness And Stress Do Not Lead To An Increase Risk In Mortality, New Study Finds
A new study led by Dr. Bette Liu of the University of South Wales in Australia found that unhappiness and stress do not increase risk of mortality.
December 16, 2015
This finding was reached by Dr. Liu and colleagues by conducting an analysis of 719,671 women who were part of the UK's Million Women Study.
Honor Whiteman of Medical News Today reports, “A median age of 59 years, the women were recruited to the study between 1996-2001. Three years after enrollment, they were asked to complete a questionnaire detailing their health and feelings of stress, happiness, control and relaxation.”
“Around 39% of the women reported being happy most of the time, 44% said they were usually happy, while 17% said they were unhappy.”
“Over the next 10 years, 31,531 of the women died - as determined by electronic record linkage. The team analyzed mortality incidence from all causes, cancer and heart disease.”
After controlling for pre-existing differences in health and lifestyle, the resesarchers found that rates of all-cause mortality, heart disease mortality and cancer mortality over the 10-year follow-up were the same between both happy and unhappy women.
"After adjustment for these factors, no robust evidence remains that unhappiness or stress increase mortality or that being happy, relaxed, or in control reduces mortality," write the authors.
They say that previous studies associating unhappiness with increased mortality or happiness with reduced mortality have not accounted for how ill health impacts a person's happiness or feelings of stress.
"Many still believe that stress or unhappiness can directly cause disease, but they are simply confusing cause and effect. Of course people who are ill tend to be unhappier than those who are well, but the UK Million Women Study shows that happiness and unhappiness do not themselves have any direct effect on death rates,” said co-author Prof. Sir Richard Peto, of the UK's University of Oxford.
Disclaimer: anxietycentre.com is not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted at anxietycentre.com by contributing institutions or for the use of any information throughout anxietycentre.com's system.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Return to our anxiety research page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated September 3, 2018.