250551 Association between subjective happiness and the loss of healthy life expectancy in Japan: The AGES Study

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kokoro Shirai, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Hiroyasu Iso, MD, PhD , School of Medicine, University of Osaka, Suita, Japan
Ichiro Kawachi, MD, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Akihiro Nishi, MD, MPH , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Hiroshi Hirai, PhD , Nihon Fukushi University, Nagoya, Japan
Hisashi Imai, PhD , Department of Business, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Yamanashi, Japan
Hirohito Tsuboi, MD, PhD , Pharmaceutical and Health Science, Kanazawa University college of Medical, Kanazawa, Japan
Toshiyuki Ojima, MD, PhD , Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan
Katsunori Kondo, PhD, MD , Department of Health Welfare, Nihon Fukushi University, Chita-gun, Aichi, Japan
Objectives: This prospective cohort study attempted to examine the associations between subjective levels of happiness and risks of loss of healthy life expectancy among Japanese men and women who is over 65 years old, living in the community settings.

Methods: Study subjects were 8,248 (4016 men and 4232 women) aged Japanese free from dementia nor disabled conditions at baseline 2003, included in Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES). Loss of healthy life expectancy (HLE) was assessed through public long-term care insurance databases and national resident registry. Sex-specific age and multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated according to the perceived levels of happiness from Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the risks of loss of HLE. Additionally, one-to-one nearest neighbor propensity score matching analysis were also carried out using a logit model.

Result: Among followed up period for 4 years in median, a total of 490 loss of HLE were documented. The multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) of loss of HLE was calculated, and to compare with the highest levels of happiness to those in the lowest were 0.70 (95%CI:0.58-0.86), p for trend p=0.03 in total population. The hazard ratios and the 95% CIs calculated in the matching technique were not grossly different.

Conclusion: A higher levels of happiness was found to be associated with lower risks of loss of HLE in the later stage of life, suggesting a protective role of positive psychological conditions on health.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyse association between subjective happiness and health related outcomes. Define types of individual levels of factors related with higher subjective happiness.

Keywords: Aging, Psychological Indicators

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.