Happiness helps the heart
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|Thu, 02-18-2010 - 3:45pm|
"Happiness helps when it comes to the heart
By MARIA CHENG (AP) – 20 hours ago
LONDON — You've heard it before: to avoid a heart attack don't smoke, eat right and exercise. But it also may help to be happy, a new study says.
Even if you're grumpy by nature, just try to be cheerful.
Researchers at Columbia University rated the happiness levels of more than 1,700 adults in Canada with no heart problems in 1995.
After a decade, they examined the 145 people who developed a heart problem and found happier people were less likely to have had one.
The study was published online Thursday in the European Heart Journal.
"If you aren't naturally a happy person, just try acting like one," said Dr. Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center, the paper's lead author. "It could help your heart."
Davidson and colleagues used a five-point scale to measure people's happiness. They then statistically adjusted to account for things like age, gender, and smoking.
For every point on the happiness scale, people were 22 percent less likely to have a heart problem. The study was paid for by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and others.
Davidson said happy people were more likely to have a healthier lifestyle.
It could also be there is an unknown genetic trait that predisposes people to be happy and have less heart disease.
Other experts said happiness itself could result in a healthier heart compared to other emotions such as stress or depression."
Strong like a mountain,
Flowing like a river."
~~Tai Chi Chih
"All things share the same breath;
the beast, the tree, the man.
The Air shares its spirit with
all the life it supports."
"If there are no dogs in Heaven,
then when I die I want to go where they went."
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated."