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Health > Under the Rainbow3/24/10 IS Online

Happy, Healthy Heart

Happiness is linked to a healthy heart.

By Craig DeSilva

You can lower your risks of a heart attack by exercising, eating a low-fat diet, managing your blood pressure and cholesterol, and not smoking. New research says you can now add being happy to that list.

Researchers at Columbia University rated the happiness levels of more than 1,700 adults in Canada who had no heart problems. After a decade, 145 people from that group who had developed a heart problem were examined and found to be less happy than those who had not developed heart problems.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that happy people were more likely to have a healthier lifestyle.

Stress is a significant factor linked to one’s happiness. Stress has been known to release hormones that can damage heart muscles and cause plaque to build up in blood vessels and clog arteries. Depression has also been identified as a risk factor for heart problems.

So smile more, and your heart will thank you for it.

 
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