People who don’t think life is worth living are more likely to die within the next few years, research from Japan shows.
The increased death risk was mainly due to cardiovascular disease and external causes — most commonly, suicide.
The research is the largest to date to investigate how “joy and a sense of well-being from being alive,” affects mortality risk, and only the second to examine death from specific causes, according to Dr. Toshimasa Sone and colleagues from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai.
Overall, people with no sense of joy and well-being from being alive were 50 percent more likely to die from any cause during follow-up compared to those who did have a sense that life was worth living.
They had a 60 percent greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease, most commonly stroke, and were 90 percent more likely to die of “external” causes.
Of the 186 deaths due to external causes among study participants, 90 were suicides.
Source: Psychosomatic Medicine
Source: The Daily Star, February 15, 2009