Study: Optimistic People Have The Happiest Hearts Too

Members of the American Heart Association participate in a rally to support medical research in Washington in April 2013. A study found cardiovascular health is affected significantly by a person's psychological well-being. Adam Fagen/Flickr
Members of the American Heart Association participate in a rally to support medical research in Washington in April 2013. A study found cardiovascular health is affected significantly by a person’s psychological well-being. Adam Fagen/Flickr

A doom-and-gloom attitude may be bad for your health. A study that examined people’s outlooks on life along with their cardiovascular health found those with positive attitudes tend to have the happiest hearts.

“Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts,” Rosalba Hernandez, the study’s lead author and a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a statement last week. “This association remains significant, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health.”

Heart disease kills about 2,200 Americans each day, making it the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). About one in 18 Americans die from a stroke, which occurs when blood stops flowing to parts of the brain.

The Illinois study assessed more than 5,100 people between the ages of 45 and 84, the release said. Researchers used seven metrics to determine the health of each person’s heart, including blood pressure, dietary intake and tobacco use. Participants also completed surveys about their mental health, levels of optimism and physical health.

The survey revealed people’s overall health scores often matched their levels of optimism.

Hernandez said the evidence suggests the AHA should include people’s psychological well-being in its broader campaign to promote cardiovascular health. “At the population level, even this moderate difference in cardiovascular health translates into a significant reduction in death rates,” she said in the statement.

Click here to continue reading.

SOURCE: International Business Times – Maria Gallucci

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s