Optimistic Women Have Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Less cardiovascular disease and fewer deaths are reported among women who are optimistic, a new study suggests.

In the study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh measured optimism by a questionnaire on whether a woman agreed with such statements as "In unclear times, I usually expect the best." , Xinhua reports.

When the researchers compared the most optimistic 25% of their subjects with the most pessimistic 25%, they found that out of every 10,000 optimists, 43 developed CHD and overall 46 died, while for every 10,000 pessimists there were 60 cases of CHD and 63 deaths overall. Women who scored highly for "cynical hostility" were also more likely to develop CHD or die. The study was published this week in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association ,guardian.co.uk reports.

Optimism was defined as answering "yes" to questions like, "In unclear times, I usually expect the best." Pessimism was defined as answering "yes" to questions like, "If something can go wrong for me, it will."

The results showed that optimistic women, compared to pessimistic women, had a 9 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14 percent lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.

Furthermore, women with a high degree of cynical hostility, compared to those with a low degree, were 16 percent more likely to die during the eight years of follow-up ,U.S. News & World Report reports.

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