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Survey: wellbeing improves as people approach 70

01/03/2016

Survey: wellbeing improves as people approach 70According to a new survey, people are generally happier in their 60s as they approach the end of their seventh decade, despite many of them having at least one chronic disease.

Researchers at University College London, on behalf of the Medical Research Council in the UK, followed more than 3,000 Britons since birth and monitored their health and wellbeing over the years.

They found that a person's average wellbeing improved as they approached the age of 70, even though many of them were suffering from diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or hypertension.

For the study, participants were asked how confident, cheerful, relaxed and useful they felt while still in their early 60s. They were then asked again aged 68 to 69.

Dr Mai Stafford, programme leader at the Medical Research Council's unit for lifelong health and ageing, said that people's wellbeing definitely improved as they neared the end of their 60s, but the reasons were still unclear.

She said: "We found that one in five experienced a substantial increase in wellbeing in later life, although we also found a smaller group who experienced a substantial decline.

"The benefit of using a cohort study like this is that we can look at how individuals change over time.

"We hope this will allow us to pinpoint which common experiences may be linked to an improvement in wellbeing in later life."

So while many of us will be anxious about growing older, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel as we approach 70.
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