Health and happiness among older adults: a community-based study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Activities of Daily Living; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging; Alabama; Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; *Attitude to Health; Chronic Disease; Comorbidity; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; *Geriatric Assessment; *Happiness; Health Surveys; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pain; Poverty; Primary Health Care; Urinary Incontinence


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


The relationship between health and happiness was explored using a cross-sectional survey of 383 community-dwelling older adults. As a function of self-reported health, median happiness was increasing at a decreasing rate; happiness variability was decreasing at a decreasing rate. In multivariable logistic regression, lowest-quartile happiness was associated with poverty, unfavorable subjective health, debilitating pain and urinary incontinence, but not with the comorbidity count or other comorbidities. The results, robust to common method bias, suggest that subjective health measures are better predictors of happiness than objective measures are, except for conditions that disrupt daily functioning or are associated with social stigma.

DOI of Published Version



J Health Psychol. 2009 May;14(4):503-12. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of health psychology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed