Saturday, October 16, 2010

Be Happy for Heart Disease Prevention!

There are about 2.5 million people in Britain with heart disease, which is the single biggest killer, causing 94,000 deaths a year.

While “do not smoke, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly” are the 3 basic things that people could do to maintain a healthy heart and avoid heart attack, a paper published online on February 18, 2010 in the European Heart Journal indicated that happiness might help to keep a healthy heart!

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, America used a 5-point scale to measure happiness levels of more than 1,700 adults in Canada with no heart disease in 1995. After a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed heart disease and found that happier people were less likely to have had heart problem.

After statistically adjusting to account for other factors like age, gender and smoking, it was found that for every point on the happiness scale, people were 22 percent less likely to develop heart disease.

It has been known that depression and stress would significantly raise people’s risk of developing heart disease, but this study is believed to be the first to suggest happiness could lessen heart disease risk.

Happy people tend to be more likely to have a healthier lifestyle. This could be owing to an unknown genetic trait embedded in these people making them happy and have less heart disease.

According to researchers, even if one is not naturally a happy person, just try acting like one; it could really help the heart!

Ordinary people can ensure they engage with some activities that they like in their daily lives. For example, spending 15 minutes or so to read a book or incorporate activities like walking or listening to music in the daily schedule if these activities could improve one’s mood.

Nevertheless, as this study used an experimental design that is good for observation of trends and associations, it does not prove cause and effect nor confirm lowering risk of heart disease by changing one’s mood. Perhaps, more studies should be carried out to find out more from the cause and effect perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas about Heart Prevention,..
    Thank you for the post..