Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Be Happy To Lower Heart Disease Risk!

Are you happy with your life? If your answer is yes, then probably you will be at a lower risk of getting heart disease.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found that people who were most content with their lives had 13 percent lower risk of heart disease. Their findings were published online on July 4, 2011 in the ‘European Heart Journal’.

According to them, participants' level of satisfaction with their job, family, sex life and with themselves was linked to their risk of coronary heart disease. The higher the satisfaction, the greater the risk reduction.

About 8,000 British government workers were asked about 7 specific areas of participants' everyday lives, including love relationships, leisure activities, standard of living, job, family, sex and one's self. They rated their satisfaction level in each area on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied).

The participants’ health records for coronary related death, non-fatal heart attack and angina, or chest pain were tracked over the next 6 years. It seemed that satisfaction with one’s job, family, sex and self were most paramount for heart disease prevention, after taking into account of other heart disease risk factors including hypertension (high blood pressure) and body mass index (BMI).

Health experts have long regarded depression and anxiety as risk factors for heart disease, but there has not been much evidence found that supported benefits of a positive psychological state like feeling content with one’s life.

The new findings suggested effort to encourage positive psychological states could be as relevant as to lessen negative psychological states for those who are at high risk of heart disease.

Nevertheless, being happy alone might not be enough to keep heart disease away as there are many other risk factors that can cause people to develop heart disease. The basic rules remain: a healthy diet and regular physical activities are still a must for people who wish to be heart healthy.

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