The Zoomer Report: Happiness Protects Your Heart

Here’s more evidence about how happiness affects your health. It could protect you from a heart attack. A study out of Columbia University shows that people who are enthusiastic and content are less likely to develop heart disease than those who aren’t.

The researchers followed more than 1700 people for 10 years. They found that the happier someone was, the less likely he or she would develop heart disease. In fact, for every point on a five-point happiness scale, the risk of heart disease dropped 22 per cent. Meanwhile, unhappy people had a 22 per cent increased risk.

The scientists speculate that happier people tend to sleep better and have a healthier lifestyle. They probably also have less stress in their lives and handle the stress they do have better than less happy people. It could also be there is an unknown genetic trait that predisposes people to be happy and have less heart disease.

Whatever the cause, researchers have an easy prescription to follow: Do more of the things that make you happy, and you can significantly reduce your risk. And even if you aren’t a naturally happy person, just try acting like one.

About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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