Optimists have a healthier heart

People with an optimistic outlook on life have better cardiovascular health. A study by the University of Illinois shows this.

More than 5,100 volunteers between the ages of 45 and 84 were able to determine their cardiovascular health on the basis of seven characteristics.

They looked at blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, cholesterol, diet, physical activity and tobacco consumption. In addition, they completed questionnaires to measure their mental health and optimism.

Healthier

The more optimistic participants were, the better their cardiovascular health turned out to be. Optimists had better blood sugar levels and healthier cholesterol levels. They were also more physically active, smoked less frequently and had better BMI.

“The most optimistic participants were twice as likely to achieve ideal cardiovascular health as their more pessimistic peers,” says lead author Rosalba Hernandez.

“At the population level, a small difference in cardiovascular health already translates into a significant reduction in the number of deaths.

The results of the study appeared in Health Behavior and Policy Review.

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