Do happy people have healthier hearts?

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According to findings from a study recently reported online in the European Heart Journal, individuals that find more contentment, joy and excitement in their lives may have better heart health. According to the study, positive effect, which was the study’s measure of happiness, was associated with a greatly lowered risk of a cardiovascular event over a ten-year period. The researchers relayed that the idea that an enhancement of one’s “zest for life” could be a protective factor against cardiovascular disease is quite exciting. According to Karina Davidson, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues, “Whether increasing positive affect would decrease the risk for coronary heart disease is an exciting, but as of yet untested hypothesis, remaining to be addressed.” Remarkably, a lessening of cardiovascular events over a 10 year period remained even after accounting for negative emotions like anxiety, depression and hostility. Click here to read an article from the Irish Times that discusses this study more.

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