Open Access Open Badges Research article

Biological and other health related correlates of long-term life dissatisfaction burden

Teemu Rissanen12*, Soili M Lehto3, Jukka Hintikka24, Kirsi Honkalampi5, Tarja Saharinen1, Heimo Viinamäki13 and Heli Koivumaa-Honkanen1101136789

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O.B. 1777,FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland

2 Department of Psychiatry, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti, Finland

3 School of Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

4 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

5 School of Educational Sciences and Psychology, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

6 Department of Psychiatry, South-Savonia Hospital District, Mikkeli, Finland

7 Department of Psychiatry, North Karelia Central Hospital, Joensuu, Finland

8 Department of Psychiatry, SOSTERI, Savonlinna, Finland

9 Department of Psychiatry, SOTE, Iisalmi, Finland

10 Department of Psychiatry, Lapland Hospital District, Rovaniemi, Finland

11 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

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BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:202  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-202

Published: 1 August 2013



Mental health is interconnected with somatic health and can manifest itself in biological processes. Life dissatisfaction is an indicator of subjective well-being, but information on its biological correlates is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the biological correlates along with other health-related factors of long-term life dissatisfaction in a population-based sample.


As part of the Kuopio Depression Study, health questionnaires were sent to a randomly selected population-based sample in 1998, 1999, and 2001. In 2005, among a clinically studied sub-sample (n = 305), the 7-year long-term life dissatisfaction burden was assessed by summing life satisfaction scores from previous health questionnaires. Several sociodemographic, health, health behavior, and biological factors were investigated in respect to their associations to categorized (low and high) and continuous (linear regression) life satisfaction burden score (higher values indicating dissatisfaction).


In the final linear regression model long-term life dissatisfaction burden was significantly associated with poor social support (B = 0.138; p < 0.001), marital status (i.e. living alone) (B = 0.049; p = 0.019), current smoking (B = 0.087; p < 0.001), poor sleep (B = 0.052; p = 0.001), use of statins (B = −0.052; p = 0.002) and lower serum adiponectin level (B = −0.001; p = 0.039) whereas association of metabolic syndrome was marginally nonsignificant (B = 0.029; p = 0.055).


Long-term life dissatisfaction is associated with adverse health, health behavioral, and social factors, as well as with a decreased anti-inflammatory buffer capacity, all indicating close relationships between subjective well-being and somatic morbidity.

Life satisfaction; Burden; Social support; Inflammation; Adiponectin; Metabolic syndrome