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Health + Wellness

Optimism Good for the Soul – and Heart!



The more optimistic you are, the greater your chances of being in ideal cardiovascular health, especially when compared to pessimists.

 

Researchers at the University of Illinois reviewed data on more than 5,100 men and women ranging in age from 45 to 84, and assessed their cardiovascular health based on such factors as blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol levels, physical activity and smoking. The participants also completed surveys that assessed their mental health and levels of optimism, and reported on any physical health problems they were experiencing including arthritis, and liver and kidney disease.

The researchers reported that the higher the participants’ health scores, the higher their levels of optimism, and that the most optimistic participants were considerably more likely to have health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges. Overall, the investigators concluded, people who were the most optimistic were twice as likely to have ideal cardiovascular health – and they also maintained significantly better blood sugar and total cholesterol levels than pessimists. In addition, optimists were also more physically active, had healthier body mass indexes and were less likely to smoke.

Source: Dr. Andrew Weil