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Enjoying retirement 'key to long life'

Press Association logoPress Association 14/12/2016 Ella Pickover

Enjoying retirement could be the key to a longer life, a new study suggests.

Experts have found that sustained enjoyment over several years in older age has been linked to a lower risk of early death.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that the longer an individual reports enjoying life, the lower their risk of death during the study follow-up period.

Data was examined from more than 9,000 people aged 50 and older, with an average age of 63.

Participants were assessed on their levels of enjoyment in life on three occasions between 2002 and 2006.

Almost a quarter reported no enjoyment in life during any of the three assessments, one in five reported high enjoyment on one of the assessments, 22 per cent on two assessments and more than a third on all three occasions.

During the six and a half year follow-up, 1,310 of the participants died.

People who reported high life enjoyment in all three assessments were 24 per cent less likely to die during the follow-up period compared with those who said they had no enjoyment.

Those who said they enjoyed life on two occasions had a 17 per cent reduced risk.

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