admin - September 3, 2013
When given a choice of whether you want to be happy or unhappy, the answer should be easy: happy. Although it’s not as easy as simply deciding to be happy, finding out what makes you happy and striving for it can improve your heart health, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology called “Effect of Positive Well-Being on Incidence of Symptomatic Coronary Artery Disease.”
The study found that people who are happy and/or have a more optimistic outlook on life seem to have a lower risk of suffering a heart attack. While these results show another way to lower your heart attack risk, they don’t necessarily mean that people shouldn’t have a heart disease screening, especially at older ages. The results also don’t mean that those who have a greater heart disease risk due to genetics or health issues shouldn’t still take precautions. Being cheerful, however, could be one way to improve your heart health.
A team of seven prominent professors and researchers followed nearly 1,500 people, all of whom had brothers or sisters who had a heart attack or some other sudden coronary problem prior to turning 60 years of age. Observation of these participants lasted 25 years.
Throughout the study, the participants were asked to complete surveys that asked questions about their general life and overall happiness, such as their level of relaxation and anxiety, satisfaction in life, health concerns, and their level of cheerfulness. After following up with these participants after twelve years, researchers found that those who had an overall positive well-being and outlook were 50 percent less likely to experience a coronary event.
These findings were strengthened by the results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which showed that happier people were 13 percent less likely to suffer from a heart attack or other coronary event.
“A happier temperament has an actual effect of disease and you may be healthier as a result,” said study researcher Lise R. Yanek, M.P.H., in a Huffington Post article.
While it’s great news that people can take their health into their own hands by focusing on things that make them happier, other lifestyle factors play a huge role in overall heart health. This includes regular physical activity, nutritious diets, not smoking, maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and avoiding heavy alcohol consumption.
Find out more about heart disease risk factors and heart disease screening from Life Line Screening now.
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