Want to reduce your risk of heart failure? Think positive!
Optimism - an expectation that good things will happen - can significantly lower the risk of developing heart failure in older adults, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University found that compared to the least optimistic people in the study, the most optimistic people had a 73 per cent reduced risk of heart failure over the follow-up period.
Eric Kim, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Psychology and the study's lead author, and colleagues analysed data on 6,808 older adults from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study of people over age 50 in the US.
The participants, who were followed for four years, provided background information about themselves, health history and psychological data.
In order to help rule out the possibility that other factors could better explain the link between optimism and heart failure, the researchers adjusted for factors that might impact heart failure risk, including demographic factors, health behaviours, chronic illnesses and biological factors.