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Table 1 Happiness and longevity: 11 follow-up studies in patient populations

From: Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care

Subjects N Follow-up Measure of happiness Control variables Observed effect Source
Breast cancer patients 35 1 year Affect balance scale None Negative Derogatis (1979)
Dead: M = 2.01
Alive: M = 1.27
Difference: p < 05
Inhabitants old age home for veterans 668 2 years Single question on life satisfaction Age, baseline health and health behaviour Positive Kao et al (2005)
2001–2003 OR = 1.4 unhappy
  OR = 8.9 very unh.
Aged residents nursing home: chronically ill 193 2 years Life Satisfaction Index (LSI)   No difference Reynolds and Nelson (1981)
1977–1978
Aged residents nursing home Massachusetts, USA 30 2.5 years Six questions about satisfaction with life Age, baseline health Negative: Janoff-Bulmanand Marshall (1982)
Dead: M = 27.2
Alive: M = 21.9
p < .05
Difference: p < .05
21–80 aged heart patients Massachusetts, USA 3,375 3 years Single question on life satisfaction Age, baseline functional health and treatment No effect Konstam et al. (1996)
RR = 1.052 ns
Single question: ladder of life ‘now’ Positive
RR = .92 p < .002
Early stage melanoma patients Sydney, Australia 426 1–6 years Single question on mood Baseline disease variables, coping style and concerns Negative Brown et al. (2000)
1991–1997 HR = 1.02
  CI95: 1.00–1.03
65–96 aged residents of nursing homes Montreal, Canada 129 4 years Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) Age, gender and baseline health (objective and subjective) No effect O’Connor and Vallerand (1998)
HR = .79
r = −.08 ns
End-stage renal disease patients Calgary, Canada 97 4 years Affect Balance Scale Age, co-morbidity, number of leisure activities No effect Devinds et al. (1990)
r = +.00 ns
Single question on Life happiness No effect
partial r = −.17 ns
Elderly (mean 79) living in institution, Newfoundland, Canada 156 5 years Happiness (MUNSH) Age, activity, religiosity, perceived health Negative Stones, Dorman, and Kozma (1989)
1.2% explained variance
Questions on recent happiness Negative
2% explained variance
Breast cancer patients: with relapse 36 7 years Positive affect (Joy) Age, baseline health, prognosis, time before relapse Positive Levy et al. (1988)
B = +.20
Spinal cord injured >2 years after accident 345 11 years General satisfaction factor Biographic variables Positive Krause, Lottes, and Sternberg (1997)
1985–1996 OR = 1.99