Positive Emotions May Protect Against Heart Disease

Research shows that people with feelings of happiness and contentment are less likely to develop heart disease.

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The damaging effects depression can have on heart disease have been well publicized, but new research appears to show that a positive and upbeat emotional state can actually protect you against heart disease. In a study published in the Feb. 18 issue of the European Heart Journal, researchers found that people who ranked lowest on a scale measuring "positive affect" (the experience of pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment) had a 22 percent higher risk of ischemic heart disease (heart attack or angina) than those with little positive affect, who had, in turn, a 22 percent higher risk than those with moderate positive affect.
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