Friday, April 20, 2012

Be an optimist, it may protect you against heart problems

A recent review of more than 200 studies suggested that happy and optimistic people have lower risk of heart disease and stroke.


The Harvard School of Public Health reviewed more than 200 studies, which was reported in Psychological Bulletin, suggesting that being cheerful and optimistic will make people healthier, lowering their risk of getting high blood pressure and cholesterol.


Factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness appeared to be linked associated with a reduced risk of heart and circulatory diseases, regardless of a person's age, socio-economic status, smoking status or body weight.


A disease risk was 50% lower among the most optimistic individuals, as what the researchers found out on medical trial databases.


However, Dr. Julia Boehm stressed that their work only suggests a link and is not proof that well-being buffers against heart disease. She said other heart risk factors like cholesterol and diabetes are more important when it comes to reducing disease.


The people in the study who were more optimistic also engaged in healthier behaviours such as getting more exercising and eating a balanced diet, which will have some influence.


But even when they controlled for these factors and others, like sleep quality, the link between optimism and better heart health remained.








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