DOI: 10.1101/304741Apr 20, 2018Paper

Testing the causal effects between subjective wellbeing and physical health using Mendelian randomisation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Robyn E WoottonClaire M A Haworth


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...Continue Reading

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