Happiness Key to Healthy Heart: Study

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Being happy can bestow another bliss on the individual. A cheerful person has fewer chances of dying from a heart attack; reveal the findings of a new study.

The findings thus corroborate with earlier research that has established the link between anxiety and grouchiness that causes stress which, in turn, enhances the probability of a heart attack.

Research Methodology
The researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore said that an individual achieves well being by looking at the “bright side of life.” At the same time, they cautioned that this is one virtue that people are born with and cannot be inculcated.

For the purpose of the study, researchers analyzed GeneSTAR (Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk), another study of their own university that spanned close to quarter of a century. 1,500 adults, who were healthy but had a family history of heart problems, were analyzed.

Many psychological aspects of well being like mood, anxiety, optimism were gauged by the researchers with the help of a questionnaire that was administered to the study participants.

Study Findings
The study established that people, who were considered more susceptible to coronary disease due to a family history of the condition, had a 50 percent reduced chance of contracting a heart disease if they scored high on the ‘cheerful index.’

“If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events. A happier temperament has an actual effect on disease and you may be healthier as a result,” said assistant professor Lisa Yanek, lead author of the study.

The study, spread over a 12 year period, also revealed that there was no difference in the probability of contracting heart diseases between men and women or between different ethnicities. During the study period, researchers noted 208 coronary incidents including heart attacks, sudden cardiac death and the need for stents or bypass surgery, among the study participants.

The findings have been published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

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