Happiness Protects Your Heart

"We desperately need rigorous clinical trials in this area. If the trials support our findings, then these results will be incredibly important in describing specifically what clinicians and/or patients could do to improve health," - Karina Davidson
According to Columbia University researchers, happy, enthusiastic people are less likely to develop heart disease than those who are generally discontent. Over 10 years, Karina Davidson, director of the Columbia Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health and her team followed 1,739 men and women who were taking part in a large health survey in Canada. Davidson believes that these findings have reasons that are both physical and psychological. Davidson's team said one possible reason for the link between happiness and heart risk could be that people who are happier tend to have longer periods of rest or relaxation, and may recover more quickly from stressful events and not spend as much time "re-living" them which also allows them to sleep better. While there are several more studies that need to be done on this subject, Davidson says that regardless, it is important for us, as Canadians, to engage in activities that make us happy, not just for our physical health, but for our mental health and our general well-being as well.

Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in Europe, the United States and most industrialized countries. Together with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases accounted for 32 percent of all deaths around the world in 2005, according to the World Health Organization.

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