It has been discovered that there is an association between positivity and good cardiovascular health. It is found that optimistic seniors are 50% more likely to have good cardiovascular health. As the positive attitude scores became higher, the health scores did as well.
Rosalba Hernandez, a professor at the University of Illinios, stated, “”Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts.”
Each participant’s cardiovascular health was determined by looking at five factors:
• Blood pressure
• Physical activity
• Cholesterol levels
Those optimistic had considerably better cholesterol and blood sugar levels than their more pessimistic colleagues. The optimists were also found to be more physically active, and had healthier body mass indexes.
“At the population level, even this moderate difference in cardiovascular health translates into a significant reduction in death rates,” Hernandez said.
The study began July of 2000. MESA followed the participants for 11 years, gathering the data every 18 months to 2 years. Hernandez was a leading team member for the analysis on the connection between optimism and cardiovascular health.
Hernandez states, “We now have available data to examine optimism at baseline and cardiovascular health a decade later.”
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Center for Research Resources funded the research.