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Heart Health

Emotional control and the heart

July 01, 2011

Depression, anxiety, anger, and other so-called negative emotions have been linked to heart disease and heart attacks. What about the flip side — are positive emotions connected to better heart health? Yes, say two reports that addressed this question from different directions.

At Duke University Medical Center, researchers asked 2,618 men and women scheduled to have a coronary angiogram (a special x-ray that shows blood flow through the arteries that nourish the heart) questions about what they expected their future cardiovascular health to be like. Fifteen years later, they found that those who'd had the highest expectations were 24% less likely to have died of heart disease than those with the lowest expectations (Archives of Internal Medicine, published online Feb. 28, 2011).

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