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      Happiness and life satisfaction prospectively predict self-rated health, physical health, and the presence of limiting, long-term health conditions.

      American journal of health promotion : AJHP
      Activities of Daily Living, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Female, Happiness, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Health Status, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Personal Satisfaction, Prospective Studies, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors

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          To examine the effect of happiness and life satisfaction on health. Longitudinal data from waves 1 and 3, conducted in 2001 and 2004, respectively, of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. Australia. A total of 9981 respondents aged 18 years and older. Outcomes were self-reported health; the absence of long-term, limiting health conditions; and physical health. Happiness was assessed with the following question: "During the past 4 weeks, have you been a happy person"? Life satisfaction was determined with the following question: "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life"? We used multiple regression analysis to estimate odds ratios (ORs), beta coefficients (beta), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between baseline happiness or life satisfaction and health at wave 3. Baseline happiness and life satisfaction both were positively associated at wave 3 with excellent, very good, or good health (OR = 1.50, CI = 1.33-1.70, p < .0001; and OR = 1.62, CI = 1.27-2.08, p < .0001, respectively); with the absence of long-term, limiting health conditions (OR = 1.53, CI = 1.35-1.75, p < .0001; and OR = 1.51, CI = 1.25-1.82, p < .0001, respectively); and with higher physical health levels (beta = .99, CI = .60-1.39, p < .0001; and beta = .99, CI = .20-1.78, p < .0145, respectively). This study showed that happier people and those who were more satisfied with their lives at baseline reported better health (self-rated health; absence of limiting, long-term conditions; and physical health) at the 2-year follow-up when adjusted for baseline health and other relevant covariates.

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