Optimistic people have healthier hearts

12 January 2015

A new study has found that more optimistic people have better cardiovascular health. 

More than 5,100 adults were involved in the research, which is published in Health Behavior and Policy Review.

Lead author Rosalba Hernandez, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois, said those with the highest levels of optimism had twice the chance of being in ideal cardiovascular health than pessimistic people.

During the study, Dr Hernandez and her team used seven metrics to determine heart health including blood pressure, body mass index, dietary intake, physical activity and tobacco use. They then allocated zero, one or two points - representing poor, intermediate and ideal scores, respectively - to each person.

Overall, total health scores ranged from zero to 14, with a higher total score indicative of better health.

Participants also completed a survey to assess their mental health, levels of optimism, and physical health, based on whether or not they had conditions such as arthritis and liver or kidney disease.

Those who were the most optimistic were 50 and 76 per cent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges, respectively.

Posted by ​Phillip Briggs 

 

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