Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Don't worry, be healthy

10.07.2013
Johns Hopkins researchers link positive outlook to reduction in cardiac events such as heart attacks

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.

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.

For more information: http://www.genestarstudy.com

Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $6.5 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health care systems in the United States. JHM unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. JHM's mission is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, JHM educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. JHM operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and more than 30 primary health care outpatient sites. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, was ranked number one in the nation from 1990 to 2011 by U.S. News & World Report.

Media Contact: Stephanie Desmon
410-955-8665; sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
Helen Jones
410-502-9422; hjones49@jhmi.edu

Stephanie Desmon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>