Be optimistic, cut heart attack risk


London: Be an optimist, itís good for your heart, according to a Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies.

    Researchers found cheerful people have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke ó while such people may be generally healthier, a sense of well-being is what that lowers risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

    The researchers trawled medical trial databases to find studies that had recorded psychological well-being and cardiovascular health, the BBC reported.

    This revealed that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and
happiness appeared to be linked associated with a reduced risk of heart and circulatory diseases, regardless of a personís age, socio-economic status, smoking status or body weight. Disease risk was 50% lower among the most optimistic individuals.

    However, Julia Boehm, who led the review, stresses that the work only suggests a link and is not proof that well-being buffers against heart disease. The people in the study who were more optimistic engaged in healthier behaviours such as getting more exercising and eating a balanced diet, which will have some influence.