How’s this for confusion? If you’re a generally unhappy type, you’ll probably live longer  according to a study which is being reported on today:
Grumpy aged men now have a good reason to cheer up — they’ll outlive optimists, says a study.
Researchers have found that being cantankerous is the key to reaching old age — this is because happier characters are likely to take more risks through their lives including eating unhealthy foods, drinking and smoking.
Researcher Leslie Martin said: “We came to a new understanding about happiness and health. One of the findings that astounded us was that participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humour as children lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful.
The researchers from California University have spent the last 20 years analysing the results of research that began in 1921 on 1,500 10-year-old children.
If you’re an unhappy sort, and you just read that, you’re probably saying “not likely!”…well you might be right, according another study :
A study has shown that people with an optimistic outlook enjoy longer lives than those who are pessimistic about the future. The study started almost a decade ago when 999 men and women aged between 65 to 85 were questioned on various aspects of their life including, health, relationships, self-respect and outlook.
The optimistic participants in the study were 55% less likely to die from any cause, and were 23% less likely to die from a heart related illness.
“A predisposition toward optimism seemed to provide a survival benefit in elderly subjects with relatively short life expectancies otherwise” said the study, conducted by Erik Giltay from the Psychiatric Centre GGZ, Delfand.
It just goes to show that if you want to make a point, you can almost always find a study from an impressive-sounding organisation which will back you all the way.