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A Happy Heart Lives Long

ahappyheartlong.jpgIt isn?t true that heart attacks after fights with spouses or in the wake of sudden, shocking events happen only in movies. There is also some truth to the saying that ?laughter is the best medicine?.

Recent scientific evidences show that depression and negative emotions may worsen heart problems while a good laugh might improve blood vessel function. This is based on the study of 800 people with heart disease wherein 26% of the group with depression experienced a major heart problem, including an emergency bypass surgery or sudden death from a heart attack. Thirteen percent of the participants who did not suffer from depression or emotional stress, on the other hand, did not experience any heart problems.

In another study, laughter was found to boost blood flow to the heart and relax arteries of people after watching a comedy film.

Researchers have showed that inflammation?an important factor in heart disease is linked to high levels of ?cytokines? in people experiencing distress, grief, depression and other difficult emotions. Cytokines are proteins produced by the body resulting in inflammation. It is possible that emotional stress can alter blood pressure and heart rate that in turn boost cytokine production.

Moral of the story: Don`t worry, be Happy. Even better, LAUGH!


Nature Medicine 14, 231-233 (2008)

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