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Surprising Ways To Keep The Heart Healthy

June 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 186

Attitude may be more important than we ever thought when it comes to finding ways to keep the heart healthy. A new review finds that those with a more upbeat, optimistic outlook appear to have a reduced risk for both diseases of the heart and vascular system. In fact, among subjects who had known heart disease risk factors, those who had the most upbeat outlook had a lower chance than the least-optimistic subjects to have a stroke or heart attack.

The analysis includes over 200 studies published in two of the leading scientific databases, making it the biggest ever to look at the influence of a positive attitude on the risk of either heart attack of devastating stroke.

Truth is, there's been lots of research examining how the negative emotions (depression, anger, anxiety, hostility) might impact the health of the heart. But not so much work on the flip side - how a state of psychological well-being - might impact the risk of these same dangerous health conditions.

In fact, the negative effect of depression on both heart attack and risk for stroke is well known. Cardiologists understand how important it is to treat depression in those who have heart disease. More than one study has found that once a patient has a stroke or heart attack, the outlook is a lot bleaker if they are also suffering from an untreated depression.

The American Heart Association tells us that 2,200 Americans lose their lives to heart disease every single day. On top of this, strokes account for almost one of every 18 deaths in the U.S.

The researchers sought to understand how psychological well-being and cardiovascular disease might be related. They saw that happiness and an optimistic outlook, satisfaction with life and contentment tended to lead to better future health.

Upbeat subjects were also more likely to report having a healthier lifestyle - exercising more, eating better, getting the right amount of sleep - and this might be the reason behind their more favorable outcome.

The more optimistic subjects were also less likely to suffer from risks, things like hypertension, high cholesterol numbers or carrying enough weight to be considered overweight/obese, than those who had a more negative outlook on life.

What's more, an optimistic outlook brought benefits even after accounting for factors like age, socioeconomic and smoking status... even body weight. The more optimistic subjects had just about a 50% lower risk of that initial heart event compared to the less upbeat peers.

The good news is that a change in attitude can be learned, even for those who aren't hardwired as upbeat by nature. A lot of it comes from how you talk to yourself. Before you look anywhere else, listen to your own thoughts... to what you say to yourself. How often have you decided you'll have bad luck before you do? How often have your ridiculed your own imagined shortcomings before anyone else could?

If future work supports these findings on ways to keep the heart healthy, treatment for those with heart disease might also focus on bolstering psychological strengths.

FREE Bonus Secret Health Reports - For a limited time you can grab 5 FREE essential health reports from the Daily Health Bulletin. Click through now to discover other effective ways to keep the heart healthy.

Source: EzineArticles
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