Optimistic Heart Patients Outlive Their Pessimistic Peers: Study

March 9, 2011 - 0:0

Looking on the bright side may preserve your health. Heart patients with an optimistic outlook were about 30 percent more likely to be alive after 15 years than their pessimistic counterparts, according to a study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, who monitored the psychological and physical health of nearly 3,000 heart patients, say the findings suggest that your attitude can influence your outcome.
""If you get depressed and feel a lot of stress and worry, then that exacerbates your problems,'' study author John Barefoot, a professor emeritus at Duke, told The New York Times.
""Looking at these patients, the impression I get is that they are determined. They are thinking positively about getting things done.'' Optimistic patients are often better at coping with illness, more likely to follow treatment plans, and less inclined to abandon the idea of recovery, while pessimists tend to be plagued by tension and stress—both damaging to the body, the researchers speculate.
""Optimism is a powerful drug that compares favorably with highly effective medical therapies,'' wrote the authors of an accompanying editorial. ""Given the magnitude of effect that optimism has on heart heath and survival, more research is needed to unveil the pathways underlying this phenomenon.""
(Source: Health.usnews)