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Being unhappy or stressed will not kill, says study

Being miserable or stressed will not increase your risk of dying, according to the UK's Million Women Study.

It had been thought that being unhappy was bad for health - particularly for the heart, according to BBC.

But the decade-long analysis, published in the Lancet, said previous studies had just confused cause and effect.

However, experts argued that unhappiness in childhood may still have a lasting impact.

A series of studies had shown that how happy people are, strongly predicts how long they are going to live.

Ideas included detrimental changes in stress hormones or the immune system resulting in a higher risk of death.

But the research team in the UK and Australia said those studies failed to deal with reverse causality - namely, that people who are ill are not very happy.


Participants in the Million Women Study were asked to regularly rate their health, happiness and levels of stress.

The results showed that whether people were "never", "usually" or "mostly" happy had no impact on their odds of dying during the duration of the study once other factors such as health or whether they smoked were taken into account.