-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Heart patients are more
likely to survive if they have a positive outlook, researchers are
More than 2,800 heart disease patients were given a
psychological questionnaire and asked about their belief in their
ability to recover from the illness and return to a regular
After 15 years, 1,637 of the patients had died. Of those deaths,
885 (54 percent) were due to heart disease. Patients who had an
optimistic outlook were 30 percent less likely to die during the
follow-up period, said the researchers from Duke University Medical
The increased risk of death among pessimistic patients persisted
even after the researchers compensated for a number of factors,
including heart disease severity, age, gender, income, depression,
and social support.
"This study is unique because it shows that a patient's attitude toward their disease not only impacts their ability to return to a normal lifestyle but also their health over the long term and ultimately their survival," lead author John. C. Barefoot said in a Duke news release.
Optimists may more effectively deal with their condition, such
as closely following their treatment plan, while pessimists may
experience more tension and stress, which can have damaging effects
on the body, the researchers speculated.
"The take-home message is that having positive expectations can not only make you feel better but also potentially live longer," Barefoot said.
The study was published Feb. 28 in the journal
Archives of Internal Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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