Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't worry, be healthy: Cheerful people significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event

Date:
July 9, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
People with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

People with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
Credit: Andres Rodriguez / Fotolia

People with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Related Articles


Previous research has shown that depressed and anxious people are more likely to have heart attacks and to die from them than those whose dispositions are sunnier. But the Johns Hopkins researchers say their study shows that a general sense of well-being -- feeling cheerful, relaxed, energetic and satisfied with life -- actually reduces the chances of a heart attack.

A report on the research is published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

"If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events," says study leader Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "A happier temperament has an actual effect on disease and you may be healthier as a result."

Yanek cautioned that cheerful personalities are likely part of the temperament we are born with, not something we can easily change. While some have suggested it's possible that people lucky enough to have such a trait are also more likely to take better care of themselves and have more energy to do so, Yanek says her research shows that people with higher levels of well-being still had many risk factors for coronary disease but had fewer serious heart events.

She emphasized that the mechanisms behind the protective effect of positive well-being remain unclear. She also noted that her research offers insights into the interactions between mind and body, and could yield clues to those mechanisms in the future.

For the study, Yanek and her colleagues first looked at data from GeneSTAR (Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk), a 25-year Johns Hopkins project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to determine the roots of heart disease in people with a family history of coronary disease. They analyzed information gathered from 1,483 healthy siblings of people who had coronary events before the age of 60 and who were followed for five to 25 years. Siblings of people with early-onset coronary artery disease (CAD) are twice as likely of developing it themselves.

Among other things, study participants filled out well-being surveys and received a score, on a scale of 0 to 110, which gauged cheerful mood, level of concern about health, whether they were relaxed as opposed to anxious, energy level and life satisfaction. Over the course of an average 12-year follow-up, the researchers documented 208 coronary events -- heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, acute coronary syndrome, and the need for stents or bypass surgery -- in the sibling group.

The researchers found that participants' positive well-being was associated with a one-third reduction in coronary events; among those deemed at the highest risk for a coronary event, there was nearly a 50 percent reduction. The findings took into account other heart disease risk factors such as age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

To validate their result, the researchers then looked at similar information in a general population using data from 5,992 participants in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In this population, over an average 16-year follow-up, there were 1,226 coronary events (20.5 percent). They found that this group also benefitted from a cheerful temperament, which reduced their risk of a coronary event by 13 percent.

The findings held whether the participants were white or African-American, men or women.

The research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Nursing Research (NR02241), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL49762 and R01 HL59684) and National Center for Research Resources (M01 RR00052) to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine General Clinical Research Center.

Other Johns Hopkins researchers contributing to this study include Brian G. Kral, M.D., M.P.H.; Taryn F. Moy, M.S.; Dhananjay Vaidya, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., M.P.H.; Mariana Lazo, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.M.; Lewis C. Becker, M.D.; and Diane Becker, Sc.D., M.P.H.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lisa R. Yanek, Brian G. Kral, Taryn F. Moy, Dhananjay Vaidya, Mariana Lazo, Lewis C. Becker, Diane M. Becker. Effect of Positive Well-Being on Incidence of Symptomatic Coronary Artery Disease. The American Journal of Cardiology, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.05.055

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Don't worry, be healthy: Cheerful people significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709155540.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2013, July 9). Don't worry, be healthy: Cheerful people significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709155540.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Don't worry, be healthy: Cheerful people significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709155540.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins