A study covered by PubMed.gov has found that the perception of one's own health mediates the relationship between one's actual health and life satisfaction.

The study looked at "a cross-sectional sample of 2164 subjects aged 65 and above, randomly selected in seven Brazilian cities." (PubMed.gov) By using a path analysis, the study authors discovered that 19% of variance in life satisfaction, where mental and physical health were independent variables, was attributable to the mediation of each person's feelings about his or her own health.

Study authors Pinto, Fontaine, and Neri conclude in the study abstract that "adverse conditions of physical and mental health can influence the elderly's life satisfaction, mostly when they determine a decrease in their levels of self-rated health."

To read the study's abstract in full, visit the PubMed.gov website.