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Middle age is truly miserable, according to an 80-country study showing depression is most common among men and women in their 40s. Researchers found happiness follows a U-shaped curve where life begins cheerful before turning tough during middle age and then returning to the joys of youth in the golden years. It may be that when people reach their 40s they realize they won’t achieve many of their aspirations. Another reason could be that after seeing their fellow middle-aged peers begin to die, people begin to value their own remaining years and embrace life once more. Physically fit people age 70 are on average as happy and mentally healthy as a 20-year old.

(Source: Reuters 1/29/08)

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