Heart disease patients with positive attitudes likely to exercise, live longer

Heart disease patients with positive attitudes are more likely to exercise and live longer, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers used a questionnaire to assess the moods of 600 ischemic heart disease patients in a Denmark hospital. Five years later, researchers found:

  • The most positive patients exercised more and had a 42 percent less chance of dying for any reason during the follow-up period; deaths were less than 10 percent.
  • Among patients with less , 50 deaths occurred (16.5 percent).
  • Positive mood and exercise also cut the risk of heart-related hospitalizations.

Ischemic heart disease, also called , is caused by narrowed arteries that don't provide enough blood and oxygen to the heart.

Exercise levels the playing field between positive and negative patients, researchers said. So the differences in death rates between upbeat and sad heart patients weren't as striking when both groups exercised. However, information on the types and amounts of exercise were not available.

Other studies have shown that ' optimistic mood improves their health.

"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," said Susanne S. Pedersen, Ph.D., one of the study authors and professor of cardiac psychology, the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and adjunct professor of cardiac psychology, the University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital, Denmark.

Mood and exercise have a chicken-and-egg, two-way relationship with each factor influencing the other, she said.

The study's results on patients, predominantly white and 75 percent male, likely apply to a wider range of cardiac patients, including those in the United States, Pedersen said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pacemaker for slow heart rhythm restores life expectancy

Sep 02, 2013

Pacemakers implanted for slow heart rhythm restore life expectancy to normal levels, reveals research presented at ESC Congress 2013 today by Dr Erik O. Udo from the Netherlands. The findings provide a new reference point ...

Recommended for you

Vitamin K antagonist plus clopidogrel feasible for PCI

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) combined with clopidogrel may be a better alternative to triple anticoagulant therapy in patients on long-term VKA undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) ...

How pneumonia bacteria can compromise heart health

Sep 19, 2014

Bacterial pneumonia in adults carries an elevated risk for adverse cardiac events (such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks) that contribute substantially to mortality—but how the heart is ...

User comments