......We're told to always look on the bright side of life - and now it seems there's a good reason why. People with a positive outlook on life are twice as likely to have healthier hearts and circulation, researchers claim. Not only that, optimists take better care of themselves.
Compared to their more negative counterparts, they had significantly better blood sugar, healthier cholesterol readings and were more physically active.
They were also more likely to have a healthier body mass index and less likely to smoke.
The researchers, from the University of Illinois, suggested boosting people's mental well being could help tackle poor health.
A person is at risk of heart disease if they have high blood pressure, smoke, have high blood cholesterol, are diabetic, do not exercise, are overweight or obese or have a family history of heart disease.
Rosalba Hernandez, professor of social work, said: 'Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts.
'This association remains significant, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health.'
The study published in the journal Health Behavior and Policy Review was the first to examine associations between optimism and heart health in more than 5,000 US adults.
Their heart health was measured and scored as poor, intermediate and ideal.
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