Positive outlook keeps heart healthy

London: Optimistic people are up to 50 per cent less likely to suffer a coronary or a stroke, American researchers say.

Earlier medical studies have shown that negative states such as depression, anger, anxiety and hostility can be detrimental to cardiovascular health.

But in the first and largest systematic review on the topic, involving over 200 studies, experts at the Harvard School of Public Health found that positive psychological wellbeing appears to help the heart, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

Lead author Julia Boehm said: “The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socio-economic status, smoking status or body weight.

“For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50 per cent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers.”

The study was published online by the journal Psychological Bulletin.

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