Stay Happy to Have a Healthy Heart: Report

Heart-DiseaseEnthusiastic people have heart-protective outcomes, and hence are less likely to develop heart disease, said a report published in the issue of the European Heart Journal.

On a study of the relationship between happiness and heart disease, researchers concluded that if people did more of the things they liked, they could significantly reduce their risk of heart attack and angina.

"We were excited to discover in a large population-based sample of adults that the tendency to express positive emotion predicted fewer heart attacks across a period of 10 years", said lead researcher Karina Davidson, Director of Columbia's Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health.

Of the several factors which combine to produce the effect, one is that the happier people tend to sleep better and practice more heart-healthy behaviors. Physiologically differences can also make people happy or unhappy.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, Professor of Cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles and Co-Director of the UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program, said that negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and anger were associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality.

Researchers at Columbia University, in 1995, surveyed 1,700 adults, with no heart problems and after a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed a heart problem were unhappy as compared to those who did not have any heart problem.