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Keep calm and be positive to improve heart health

Yes, maintaining positive thoughts and optimism during intervention programmes can help patients achieve better overall cardiovascular health.

If you are a part of an intervention programme, then maintaining a positive attitude towards the treatment and help you achieve better overall heart health. Yes, that's what a new research says. A part of an eight-part health promotion series, the researches will talk about different risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

"We addressed how social environment, psychological well-being and the effectiveness of intervention strategies can help strengthen a patient's outlook," reportedly said Darwin R. Labarthe, MD, MPH, PhD, professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the review's lead author. "We focused on whether psychological well-being can be consistently related with a reduced risk of heart disease."

The review, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, defined cardiovascular health in two parts: healthy behaviours like diet, physical activity, smoking status and body mass index and health factors like blood pressure, total cholesterol and glucose levels.

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In this research, the team examined if psychological well-being might lead to reduced risk of heart diseases. Previous studies have shown that optimism has a positive effect on heart health.

In the four healthy behaviours that the team looked into, the most optimistic patients were less likely to be current smokers 12 months later. High levels of optimism were also associated with regular physical activity. And to no surprise, psychologically happier patients went for healthier diets, which led to them maintaining a healthy BMI.

Post the study, the authors found that psychological well-being influenced heart health through biological processes, healthy behaviours and psychosocial resources.

"Optimists persevere by using problem-solving and planning strategies to manage stressors. If others are faced with factors out of their control, they begin to shift their goals and use potentially maladaptive coping strategies, which would ultimately result in raising inflammation levels and less favourable overall heart health," Labarthe said in a statement.

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