Testing the causal effects between subjective wellbeing and physical health using Mendelian randomisation
Robyn E Wootton,
Rebecca B Lawn,
Louise Amanda Claire Millard,
Neil M Davies,
Amy E Taylor,
Marcus R. Munafò,
Nicholas J. Timpson,
Oliver S P Davis,
George Davey Smith,
Claire M A Haworth
Posted 20 Apr 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/304741
Posted 20 Apr 2018
Objectives: To investigate whether the association between subjective wellbeing (subjective happiness and life satisfaction) and physical health is causal. Design: We conducted two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomisation between subjective wellbeing and six measures of physical health: coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). Participants: We used summary data from four large genome-wide association study consortia: CARDIoGRAMplusC4D for coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction; the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium for cholesterol measures; the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits consortium for BMI; and the Social Science Genetics Association Consortium for subjective wellbeing. A replication analysis was conducted using 337,112 individuals from the UK Biobank (54% female, mean age =56.87, SD=8.00 years at recruitment). Main outcome measures: Coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, BMI and subjective wellbeing. Results: There was evidence of a causal effect of BMI on subjective wellbeing such that each 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI caused a 0.045 (95%CI 0.006 to 0.084, p=0.023) SD reduction in subjective wellbeing. Replication analyses provided strong evidence of an effect of BMI on satisfaction with health (Beta=0.034 (95% CI: -0.042 to -0.026) unit decrease in health satisfaction per SD increase in BMI, p<2-16). There was no clear evidence of a causal effect between subjective wellbeing and the other physical health measures in either direction. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a higher BMI lowers subjective wellbeing. Our replication analysis confirmed this finding, suggesting the effect in middle-age is driven by satisfaction with health. BMI is a modifiable determinant and therefore, our study provides further motivation to tackle the obesity epidemic because of the knock-on effects of higher BMI on subjective wellbeing.
- Downloaded 442 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 77,051
- In epidemiology: 3,371
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 112,985
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 91,499
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!