Thursday, February 18, 2010
"Happy" or "Positive" people observed to have fewer heart attacks (USA)
Columbia University Medical Center researchers studying the link between emotions and heart disease believe that their recent study, published in the latest issue of the European Society of Cardiology's European Heart Journal, is the first to show a relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease. In other words, being happy may be good for your heart, says Karina Davidson, Ph.D., pictured, who led the research. Although it was observational research in a trial population that had suffered cardiac events, the study suggests that it might be possible to help prevent heart disease by enhancing people's positive emotions. Over a period of 10 years, Dr. Davidson and her colleagues followed 1,739 healthy adults (862 men and 877 women) who participated in the 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey. At the start of the observational study, trained nurses assessed the participants’ risk of heart disease and the degree of expression of positive emotions, which is known as "positive affect."