Optimism and Risk of Heart Disease
Is optimism beneficial for health? Are optimistic people having less heart disease? Recent research findings indicate optimism is definitely protective against heart disease. This article includes a test that allows you to estimate your level of protection based on how optimistic you are.
That was the tile of a very interesting article published on the Febryary 27th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine
The team of researchers from the Institute of Mental Health, Deft, the Netherlands, studied 545 men aged 64 to 84 years for over 15 years. They assessed the participants optimism level by simple, 4-item questionnaires that were administered every 5 years throughout the study period. Of note is that participants were free of preexisting cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study. At the end of the study, they divided the men into three groups, based on the optimism scores, and they compared the number cardiovascular deaths among the three groups.
The results? Men with the highest optimism scores were found to have an approximately 50 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death
This is such a major finding, I'm sure a lot of studies will be started to look deeper into this association. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun and useful to provide you with an interactive version of the questionnaires researchers used in the above study, so that you can compare yourself with the participants of the study.
Please note participants to this study were all men, so the following test may not be accurate for women.
After you click on the "Calculate My Optimism Score" button above, your results will be displayed on the next page.