Login  | Join

Well-Being and Chronic Disease Incidence: The English Longitudinal Study of Age

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 6/05/2016 11:17

Previous research suggests that greater well-being may protect against onset of chronic disease. However, it is unclear whether this association is similar across different types of disease.

Okely JA, Gale CR. Well-Being and Chronic Disease Incidence: The English Longitudinal Study of Age. Psychosom Med. 2016 Apr;78(3):335-44. Available at:




We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the prospective relationship between well-being (measured using the CASP-19 quality of life questionnaire) and incidence of arthritis, cancer, stroke, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and chronic lung disease over 8 years. The sample consisted of 8182 participants 50 years or older from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.


After adjustments for established risk factors, a standard deviation increase in CASP-19 score was associated with a decrease in arthritis risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.83-0.96) and, in those younger than 65 years, a decrease in diabetes risk (HR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.70-0.95) and chronic lung disease risk (HR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.66-0.97). Higher CASP-19 scores were associated with reduced risk for stroke and myocardial infarction; however, these associations were no longer significant after adjustments for established risk factors. No association was observed for cancer incidence. An age interaction was observed for diabetes, myocardial infarction, and chronic lung disease, with a stronger association between CASP-19 score and disease incidence at younger ages.


The extent of association between well-being and incident disease risk is not consistent across different chronic diseases. Future studies should examine the cause of this variation.

Okely JA, Gale CR.