Positive Thinking = Better Heart Health
Adopting a positive outlook on life could help save you from a heart attack, even if you’re at high risk. Researchers at Johns Hopkins tracked 1,483 people whose siblings had heart attacks or had died suddenly from a heart related ailment before they were 60 years old. After 12 years, the investigators found there had been 208 coronary events among the study participants and that those with the most positive outlook had a one-third lower risk of experiencing heart related problems. In addition, they reported that participants at highest risk for heart problems, but who had the most positive attitudes, had an almost 50 percent lower incidence of coronary events compared to their high risk peers with less positive outlooks. Following this study, the investigators reviewed 16 years of data from 5,992 people in another study and found a 13 percent reduced risk of heart problems among those with upbeat attitudes. The Hopkins team used a survey tool to evaluate the outlook, energy and anxiety levels of the study participants. Although they haven’t pinned down the exact connection between heart health and positive thinking, the investigators suggested that an upbeat outlook on life might help protect people against the inflammatory damage of stress.
Lisa R. Yanek et al, “Effect of Positive Well-Being on Incidence of Symptomatic Coronary Artery Disease.” American Journal of Cardiology, October 15, 2013, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.05.055
Also in this week’s bulletin: