The state of an individual's health can have a serious impact on their happiness, according to a new study.
Researchers from George Mason University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of Chicago and the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that the disruption of the body's daily functions was directly related to a decrease in happiness.
They considered the differences in how happiness correlates with serious medical issues such as cancer and everyday conditions like incontinence.
Erik Angner, an associate professor at George Mason University's Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, said: "These new results support the notion that health status is one of the most important predictors of happiness."
Participants in the study included 383 older adults, who had a range of health conditions, some of which affect their ability to undertake everyday activities.
Using a scale devised to grade the severity of an individual's freedom-from-debility, they found that for every one point increase there was a three per cent decrease in unhappiness.
This hypothetically means that a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer may score higher on the happiness scale than someone with a less serious illness, so long as the cancer does not directly impact upon daily functioning.
Meanwhile, someone diagnosed with urinary incontinence could score as fairly unhappy, as their daily activities may be limited.
According to the authors, "These results support the contention that health status is one of the most important predictors of happiness.
"The person's social environment is obviously important in determining the extent to which disease disrupts daily functioning."
Those with urinary incontinence, not diagnosed as being caused by a disease, could benefit from natural assistance in regulating their bladder health and stability.
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