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Older People Tend to Be Happier, Scientists Say

Older People Tend to Be Happier, Scientists Say

As people get older, mental health increases. 

It doesn’t seem that ageing affects mental health, according to research published this month in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Apparently, people get happier after age 45 and those with obesity show similar levels of mental satisfaction than those with a healthy weight.

The scientists studied more than 10,000 people from the United States and the United Kingdom, with a mean age between 55 and 59 years. They measured their quality of life according to different factors, including physical and mental health, and correlated them with age, sleep duration and symptoms of depression. They found that, while physical quality of life deteriorates, mental quality of life actually improves.

“We suggest that this could be due to better coping abilities, an interpretation supported by previous research showing older people tend to have internal mechanisms to deal better with hardship or negative circumstances than those who are younger,” says Dr Saverio Stranges, co-author of the study. “It could also be due to a lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres.”

Source: Telegraph, Daily Mail
Photo: L / Flickr
Franco, O., Wong, Y., Kandala, N., Ferrie, J., Dorn, J., Kivimäki, M., Clarke, A., Donahue, R., Manoux, A., Freudenheim, J., Trevisan, M., & Stranges, S. (2012). Cross-cultural comparison of correlates of quality of life and health status: the Whitehall II Study (UK) and the Western New York Health Study (US) European Journal of Epidemiology DOI: 10.1007/s10654-012-9664-z

Jaime Menchén
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