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Be Happy and Protect Your Heart


Be Happy and Protect Your Heart

(ePharmaNews) - Enjoy life and be positive, simple recommendations to help your heart, according to a new Harvard review of more than 200 studies.

Scientists have known for long that people who are chronically angry, anxious or depressed have a higher risk of heart attacks.

Rather than focusing only on how to lessen heart risks, "it might also be useful to focus on how we might bolster the positive side of things," said lead researcher Julia Boehm of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Researchers reviewed more than 200 studies published in two major scientific databases, and found psychological assets such as optimism and positive emotion can protect against cardiovascular disease. It also seems that these factors slow the progression of disease, the researchers 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, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight," Boehm said in a statement. "For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50 percent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers."

Boehm found that people with a better sense of well-being tend to have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, and are more likely to exercise, eat healthier, get enough sleep and avoid smoking. But she cautioned that it will take more research to tease apart if a positive outlook makes people feel more like taking heart-healthy steps — or whether living healthier helps you feel more positive.

The study, published in Psychological Bulletin, said if future researches continue to indicate that higher levels of satisfaction, optimism and happiness boost cardiovascular health, it will affect our current design of prevention and intervention strategies.

Some researchers have found that asking people to smile helps put them in a better mood, Boehm noted, although long-term effects aren't clear."Sometimes it's hard, particularly in tough economic times, but taking a moment to just relax and enjoy a sunny day might be good heart health," one of the researchers said.
 
More researches are needed, but that link between psychological and physical well-being makes sense, said Dr. Elizabeth Jackson of the University of Michigan and American College of Cardiology, who wasn't involved with the review. Among her own heart patients, she has noticed that those who feel they have some control over their lives and are invested in their care have better outcomes.
“What if you're by nature a pessimist? That's a hard question. There's no magic happy pill," Jackson said.


اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

ePharmaNews






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