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

A novel pathway for prevention of heart attack and stroke

16 hours ago

A recent Finnish study could pave the way for preventing brain and cardiac ischemia induced by atherosclerosis. Finnish researchers have found that the low-expression variant of fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4), which ...

Exercise may protect older women from irregular heartbeat

Aug 20, 2014

Increasing the amount or intensity of physical activity can cut the chances of older women developing a life-threatening irregular heartbeat, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA).

Huge discrepancies on heart disease in Europe

Aug 20, 2014

Russians and Ukrainians aged 55 to 59 die from coronary heart disease at a higher rate than Frenchmen who are 20 years older, a study released Wednesday of Europe's cardiovascular health showed.

User comments