Monday, June 25, 2018
Health

Feeling like a Grinch? At least it won't shorten your life

LONDON — There's good news for grumpy women: Being happy apparently has no effect on how long you might live.

That's the conclusion of the latest attempt to find out if happy people live longer. Previous studies have linked happiness to longevity, but researchers now say there's no such scientific connection. So while being sick makes you unhappy, just being grouchy isn't enough to make you ill or shorten your life.

The results are based on questionnaires from more than 715,000 British women aged 50 to 69 who were enrolled in a national breast cancer screening program in the late 1990s.

The women were asked things like how often they felt happy and how healthy they were. Nearly 40 percent of the women said they were happy most of the time while 17 percent said they were unhappy. After a decade of tracking the women, 4 percent had died.

Scientists found the death rate among unhappy women was the same as those who were happy. The research was published online Wednesday in the medical journal Lancet.

"It's such a common belief that stress and unhappiness causes death and disease, but it's actually the other way around," said Richard Peto, a professor at the University of Oxford who was one of the study's authors. "People should focus on the real issues that shorten their lives, like smoking and obesity."

In an accompanying commentary, French scientists suggested that the results might not be the same in men, since "men and women probably define happiness differently." The researchers said the latest paper was the biggest-ever to evaluate happiness and noted it accounted for potential confounding factors. Some previous studies among older adults have found that women were grumpier than men.

Peto said the pursuit of happiness is still worthwhile, even if it doesn't extend your life.

"Happiness is very nice," said Peto, who was relieved to have finished the study after two decades. "I had some of it myself when I was young."

But not everyone was convinced by the study's conclusions.

Hazel Newton, 69, said she believed having a positive attitude was instrumental to her recovery from a stroke several years ago.

"I've always been a glass half-full kind of person, and I think that helps keep you healthy," Newton said while enjoying a day of shopping in London with her sister.

The Sheffield native said it's important to consciously decide to be happy.

"You always have to enjoy every day," she said. "You never know what's coming."

Comments
Bayfront Health to acquire Seven Rivers Medical Center in Crystal River

Bayfront Health to acquire Seven Rivers Medical Center in Crystal River

Bayfront Health is acquiring the Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River. Community Health Systems, which owns six Bayfront Health hospitals along Florida’s Gulf Coast from Brooksville to Venice, is one of the nation’s largest owners an...
Updated: 5 hours ago
ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ST. PETERSBURGShyly, 8-year-old Annabelle Brassfield climbed atop a stool in front of a blank easel, grabbed a brush she named Scarlet and prepared to paint her scars. After three open heart surgeries for a severe congenital heart defect, she’s left ...
Published: 06/22/18
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

ZEPHYRHILLS — The Pergolas’ Saturday morning volunteer work started like most, at a farm cleaning the property and trimming trees. Andrea Pergola, 38, stood on the driveway of the property when she heard her 15-year-old son Logan scream. At first, sh...
Published: 06/20/18
Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

TAMPA — Runners gathered for the Gonzmart’s Father’s Day Walk and Jog where they raise money to help aid in Moffitt Cancer Center’s fight against prostate cancer. This year the event raised $110,000, but Moffitt had another surprise in store.Andrea G...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing. In its latest revision to a disease class...
Published: 06/19/18
Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

The extensive government trial was intended to settle an age-old question about alcohol and diet: Does a daily cocktail or beer really protect against heart attacks and stroke?To find out, the National Institutes of Health gave scientists $100 millio...
Published: 06/16/18
More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults are taking prescription drugs, including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn, that carry a potential risk of depression, according to a study published in the Journal...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Courtney Bilyeu was running toward the murky water alongside a few military officers when it happened.She was an accountant for the U.S. Navy at the time. And on her way to take a swim with some coworkers in a California beach, she saw blood. The wat...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

The next time you head to the drugstore to buy sunscreen, don’t forget to pick up some sunglasses, too. That’s because both products work to protect your body from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.Wearing sunglasses for protection should not be re...
Updated one month ago