Optimism May Reduce Risk of Stroke

Friday, 22 July 2011 09:50 AM

If you tend to look at the bright side of things, you’re less likely to have a stroke, according to a new study.

Those who expect good things in life do things to preserve it, like taking care of their health, University of Michigan researcher Eric Kim theorizes, reports HealthDay.

Kim and colleagues looked at the results of standard optimism tests for 6,044 men and women from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults over the age of 50. Participants rated their health and were followed by researchers for two years.

None of the participants reported having a stroke at the study’s start; during the follow-up period, 88 cases of stroke were reported.

The optimism test was based on a 16-point scale. After researchers adjusted for age, each unit jump in participants’ optimism grade cut stroke risk by about 9 percent, Kim tells HealthDay.

While Kim says the work, which was published in the July 21 online issue of the American Heart Association journal Stroke, does not show a cause-and-effect link, it does illustrate a significant association.

“Optimism protects against stroke,” he says.

In addition to his theory that optimistic people work to stay healthy, another possible explanation for his finding pertains to a biological effect.

"In a similar way that depression can impact functioning, we think optimism can as well," he says.

To read the complete HealthDay story, Go Here.

© HealthDay

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Friday, 22 July 2011 09:50 AM
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