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Ladies… Think Positive For Healthy Hearts!

Posted by Adam Pick on August 18th, 2009

Sarah just sent me another interesting story about women, optimistic thinking and heart disease that was recently posted at the Los Angeles Times. Here are the details:

Many studies suggest that people who possess a sunny outlook on life tend to have better health and live longer. Here’s more evidence for the theory. A study by cardiac researchers showed that optimistic women had a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying of any cause compared to pessimistic women.

The study, published today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, studied 97,253 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 from the U.S. Women’s Health Initiative study. The women did not have cancer or heart disease at the start of the study. They completed questionnaires designed to assess their emotional outlook.

After eight years of follow-up, the optimistic women had:

  • a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and
  • a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to the pessimistic women.

Alternatively, women who had a high degree of cynical hostility were 16% more likely to die during the eight years of follow-up compared to women with a low degree of cynical hostility.”The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health,” the lead author of the study, Dr. Hilary A. Tindle, of the University of Pittsburgh, said in a news release.

Race was found to be a factor in modifying the relationship between optimism and death.  Among African American women, optimists had a 33% lower risk of death after eight years of follow-up. Among white women, optimists had a 13% lower risk.

The study found that optimists tended to be younger, live in the Western United States, report higher education and income, be employed, have health insurance and attend religious services at least once a week.

Keep on tickin’ and smilin’ ladies!

P.S. To leave a comment, please click here.

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Fran Zilko says on August 19th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

A few weeks ago, Rob asked about his father’s pump head situation. Do you have any follow up on if it resolved? Will be facing surgery soon and this is a concern for me.


Janet Coyle says on August 21st, 2009 at 4:11 am

Thanks, Adam for the article on optimism amd women. I don’t think attending religious service and optimism are a coinsidence. Spirituality and attending religious services are a really good antidote for cynical hostility.
Preparing for my heart valve surgery included preparing myself spiritually as much as physically for the the experience and bore amazing results.
Prayer ( mine and others), meditation and Your Heart Valve Surgery Book are the tools that resulted in a very remarkable recovery. I had a peace beyond understanding throughout the surgery experience , I am back to work and you still remain on my gratitude list. Thanks .
Keep the faith and keep on tickin!


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