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Stay happy to keep heart disease at bay.

THE SLOGAN ' don't worry, be happy' appears to have scientific logic behind it.

According to a study, positive emotions such as happiness, contentment and excitement may help prevent heart disease. The findings suggest being happy reduces the risk of heart disease by 22 per cent. More happiness further lowers the risk by the same percentage.

The study was done by scientists from the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center, USA. Scientists have called for rigorous clinical trials to further substantiate the findings. The research included 1,739 healthy adults -- 862 men and 877 women -- who were followed for over 10 years.

They were assessed for the risk of heart disease by measuring levels of depression, hostility, anxiety as well as the degree of ' positive affect' or the experience of pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment.

" Participants with nopositive affect were at a 22 per cent higher risk of having heart attacks or angina than those with a little positive affect, who were themselves at 22 per cent higher risk than those with moderate positive affect," Dr Karina Davidson, lead scientist and director of the centre said. The study has been published in the European Heart Journal . Positive emotions may be providing protection by influencing heart rates, sleeping patterns and smoking cessation, the study suggested. Dr K. Srinath Reddy, a top cardiologist, said positive emotions played a role in neuro- hormonal regulation of heart and blood vessels.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 19, 2010
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