Optimists Are More Than A Third Less Likely To Suffer A Heart Attack

Optimists Are More Than A Third Less Likely To Suffer A Heart Attack

by | Oct 1, 2019

Need an incentive to make lemonade out of lemons? This might do the trick. According to new research published in the journal Jama Network Open, positive people are a third less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

For the study, scientists looked at data taken over a period of 14 years from more than 230,000 men and women across the US, Europe, Israel and Australia. Their intention? To find a link between a person’s outlook on life and their cardiovascular health. To do this, they evaluated each participant’s levels of optimism using psychological scales and put them through a series of physical tests.

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Interestingly, over the course of the experiment, those who described themselves as optimists experienced 35 per cent fewer strokes than those who didn’t.

“Our study was the first meta-analysis, to our knowledge, to assess the association between optimism and clinical outcomes,” the study’s author, Professor Alan Rozanski explained, adding that the findings “may be important for preventive health.”

His theory is that being an optimist may make a person more likely to adopt healthy habits, like regular exercise, a balanced diet and refrain from smoking.

“Optimism has long been promulgated as a positive attribute for living,” he added. “Taken together, the cardiovascular and psychological benefits of optimism make it an attractive new arena for study within the field of behavioural cardiology.”

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