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Study Links Optimism with Heart Health

Optimistic people may have healthier hearts, a new study concludes. The study included 5,100 adults, ages 52 to 84. They were part of a longer-term study of atherosclerosis in different U.S. racial groups. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaques inside arteries. Researchers measured this buildup using CT scans. They looked at the arteries around the heart. They assessed people's outlook on life using a standard questionnaire. Researchers adjusted their numbers to account for several factors that tend to affect heart-disease risk. These included education, income and mental health. People who were more optimistic were less likely to have clogged arteries than those who were pessimistic. They also had lower blood sugar and cholesterol. They were less likely to be overweight. They were more likely to get regular exercise. All of these could contribute to heart health.

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