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Heart Health

18 April 2012

Positive feelings protect heart

Researchers found that positive psychological well-being appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.

Over the last few decades numerous studies have shown negative states, such as depression, anger, anxiety, and hostility, to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. Less is known about how positive psychological characteristics are related to heart health.

"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 (CVD) regardless of such factors as a person's age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight," said lead author Julia Boehm, research fellow in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at HSPH.

 

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