A new study published in Lancet of 9,050 people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest well-being were 30% less likely to die during the eight and a half year follow-up period than those with less well being. Questionnaires were used to measure a type of well being called “eudemonic well being” which relates to a sense of control, feeling that what you do is worthwhile, and a sense of purpose. People were placed into one of four categories of highest to lowest well being based upon their answers. Results were adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, physical health, depression, smoking, physical activity, and alcohol intake to rule out as many of the factors that might influence well being and life expectancy.
Over the eight and a half year period of follow-up 9% of the people in the highest well being group had dies whereas 29% died in the lowest category. After all influencing factors were considered the group with the highest well being were 30% less likely to die over the study period living on average two years longer than those in the lowest well being.