People often say that a positive attitude translates into a healthy body, for instance that optimism and heart health have an underlying connection.
For the scientific world, these were allegations with no base on real facts, no tangible proof to back them up. However, Health Behavior and Policy Review journal published a new study about how an optimistic approach can influence the health of our heart. Rosalba Hernandez, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois was the lead author of the research study. The study took place from 2002 to 2004 and included 5,100 adults aged 52 to 84. Chapman University, Harvard University, Drexel University and Northwestern University were the scientific institutions involved alongside Rosalba Hernandez and her colleagues in this study. The aim was to examine the relations between cardiovascular health and optimism.
First, the researchers clarified the heart health of respondents. This was accomplished using seven AHA metrics. AHA stands for the American Heart Association. The metrics were the following: tobacco use, blood pressure, body mass index, dietary intake, physical activity, fasting plasma glucose and serum cholesterol levels. These seven factors are used by the American Heart Association to determine good health.
0 to 14 was the range in which participants could have a health score. The scoring given by the researchers to the participants was 2 for ideal, 1 for intermediate and 0 for poor relating to the health metrics.
Furthermore, the study found that the respondents which were optimistic have about 50 percent chances to score in the intermediate range of the health score. The same optimistic participants were having an astounding 75 percent chance of placing their score in the ideal range for heart health. For the entire study, the participants with an optimistic approach were generally physical active, their levels of blood sugar was better, the total levels of cholesterol were better too. Another AHA metric was detected to be a healthier one: the body mass index.
The goal of American Heart Association is to reach a better cardiovascular health indicator for American people by 20 percent before 2020. According to Rosalba Hernandez, optimism could be a potential factor and it should be taken into consideration for this process to take place.
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