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Study examines health and other factors in happiest states


Work, play, finances, relationships can all make a difference to psychological well-being.

You work hard to help your patients stay healthy.

What factors are making them happy – or not?

Primary care physicians are looking for ways to assist patients dealing with difficulties in drivers of health, also called social drivers or social determinants of health. Those issues include food security, housing stability, transportation, utilities, and interpersonal safety.

There are other stressors that physicians may never be able to cure. For example, in the national economy, high inflation remains a threat to patients’ mental health, said the study, “2023’s Happiest States in America.” More than 75% of Americans who have experienced price increases where they live reported feeling “very” or “moderately” stressed by those.

The findings were published by online personal finance company WalletHub.

“Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors,” WalletHub financial writer Adam McCann said in the report. “We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy. It’s harder to be happy in some years than in others, though.”

WalletHub examined 30 metrics around the 50 states to determine the happiest states, and states where joy may be more limited. Data come from a variety of government, academic and private business sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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