A positive outlook can be good for your health

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PESSIMISM: Has been linked to stress.

A NEGATIVE attitude could be reflected in your health.

According to a Finnish study, pessimism appeared to be a strong risk factor in coronary heart disease (CHD). Researchers studied 2,267 Finnish men and women over 11 years and found the 121 people that died of heart disease had a gloomier approach to life and had been more pessimistic at the start of the study than the others. 

It is believed this pessimism is linked to stress and the stress increases blood sugar levels and blood pressure which can lead to heart damage and disease.

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This is one of a few studies highlighting the relationship between pessimism and mortality from CHD, but there have been numerous studies over the years stressing how optimism can improve your health.

An American study evaluated 839 people in the early 1960s, performing tests for optimism and pessimism. In those analysed 30 years later, tests show optimism was linked to longevity.

Dutch studies have reported similar results. In one, the researchers assessed over 500 men for their optimism who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer in 1985. Over the next 15 years, researchers reported those who were more positive were 55 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than the pessimists, even after traditional risk factors were taken into account.

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