Positive attitude can avert heart attack and prolong life

Heart disease is leading cause of death in the US.  Latest studies have indicated increase in hypertension over next decade, which is one of the major risk factors for heart diseases.  It’s not easy to have a positive forward thinking, when you are suffering from a disease, but a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center reports that people with positive outlook have better survival against heart disease. 



What did study involve?
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center surveyed more than 2,800 heart disease patients via a psychological questionnaire.  The questions probed patient’s belief in ability to recover from the illness and return to a regular routine.  The patients were tracked for 15 years for survival rates. The study was published on Feb. 28 in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine

What were findings of study?
The study reported that after 15 years 1,637 of the patients had died.  The interesting fact that the study brought to light was:

  • 885 (54%) died due to heart disease.
  • Optimistic outlook was found to reduce likelihood of death by 30 percent
  • Compensation for factors such as heart disease severity, age, gender, income, depression, and social support...

    did not reduce the death risk for pessimistic patients.

Why would optimism increase chances for survival?
This is a key question that researchers are trying to probe, given the results of the study.  We have heard from our childhood that mental strength can avert many problems and positive outlook has similar effects.  The people with right attitude can deal with their heart condition more effectively, would follow their treatment plan and avert tension and stress, which could be harmful for your heart.  

I think John. C. Barefoot, lead author puts it in right perspective “The take-home message is that having positive expectations can not only make you feel better but also potentially live longer.”  Live happy and live forever as they say. 

Healthy Living!



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