According to a new study published in the Health, Behavior and Policy Review journal, people who see every glass as half-full are twice as likely to have healthy hearts. "Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health, compared to their more pessimistic counterparts," says the study's lead author, University of Illinois professor Rosalba Hernandez.
The study compared the cardiovascular health and general attitudes of more than 5,000 adults over 11 years, beginning in July, 2000. It was conducted by professors at Indiana, Northwestern, Harvard and Drexel universities and funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It's findings agree with a growing pool of research suggesting a correlation between physical health and mental well-being, including a 2012 Harvard study suggesting a link between "positive psychological well-being" and reduced rates of heart disease and stroke. The Harvard study concluded that "optimism is most robustly associated with a reduced rate of cardiovascular events."
Not surprisingly, another study found married people had a 5% lower risk of heart disease than average. Widows had a 3% greater risk, and divorced singles had a 5% higher risk.
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