-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Heart disease patients
with an upbeat outlook are likely to live longer than those with a
negative attitude, a new study says.
Researchers used a questionnaire to assess the moods of 600
coronary artery disease patients in a Denmark hospital and
conducted a follow-up five years later.
The study found that the death rate for those with the most
positive attitudes was 42 percent lower than for those with
negative attitudes, about 10 percent versus 16.5 percent. Positive
mood and exercise was also linked to a reduced risk of
heart-related hospitalizations, according to the study published
Sept. 10 in the journal
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The differences in death rates between optimistic and
low-spirited heart patients weren't as large when both groups
exercised, the investigators found. However, information on the
types and amounts of exercise was not available.
"We should focus not only on increasing positive attitude in cardiac rehabilitation, but also make sure that patients perform exercise on a regular basis, as exercise is associated with both increased levels of optimism and better health," researcher Susanne Pedersen said in a news release from the American Heart Association.
There's a two-way relationship between exercise and mood, with
each factor influencing the other, noted Pedersen, a professor of
cardiac psychology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and an
adjunct professor of cardiac psychology at the University of
Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital in Denmark.
The findings from the study, in which 75 percent of the patients
were male and most were white, likely apply to most heart disease
patients, including those in the United States, according to
And while the study found a link between attitude and health in
heart patients, it didn't prove a cause-and-effect
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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