Optimism Might Cut Your Risk for Heart Attack

Large review also found positive people less likely to suffer stroke.

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) — Being upbeat is good for your heart, a new study suggests.

Many previous studies have shown that negative mental states — such as depression, anger, anxiety and hostility — can harm the heart.

This Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies found that positive feelings appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and events such as heart attack and stroke.

[Read: Could Menthol Cigarettes Pose Even Higher Stroke Risk?]

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive,” lead author Julia Boehm, a research fellow in the department of society, human development, and health, said in a university news release. “We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with reduced risk of [cardiovascular disease] regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status or body weight.” Read More