Navigation Links
Optimism May Lower Stroke Risk
Date:7/21/2011

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- The more optimistic you are, the lower your risk of having a stroke, a new study suggests.

"Optimism protects against stroke," said researcher Eric Kim, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan. While it is not cause-and-effect link, Kim and his colleagues did find a significant association.

The finding is published in the July 21 online issue of Stroke.

The possible stroke protection lengthens the list of health benefits tied to being optimistic, Kim said. Already, various studies have found more optimistic people have a healthier immune system, faster wound healing, a lower risk of heart disease and other benefits, he said.

For the new study, Kim and his colleagues looked at data from the Health and Retirement Study. This is a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults over the age of 50.

The team looked at the results of standard optimism tests for 6,044 men and women. All were free of stroke at the study's start. The optimism score was on a 16-point scale. The participants self-rated their health, and the team followed them for two years. During the follow-up period, 88 cases of stroke occurred.

After adjusting for age, each unit increase in their optimism score reduced stroke risk about 9 percent, Kim said.

The researchers also adjusted for other factors such as smoking, alcohol use, race, gender, marital status, blood pressure, chronic illness, mental illness, body mass index and level of physical activity. They found the association between optimism and reduced risk of stroke remained robust.

How to explain the association? One possibility is that those who expect the best things in life take steps to promote their health, Kim said.

Another possibility is a biological effect, he said. "In a similar way that depression can impact functioning, we think optimism can as well," he said.

A different study by Finnish researchers found a link between low pessimism and reduced risk of stroke, but not between optimism and stroke. Kim hopes to continue his research, including a focus on what drives the link between optimism and reduced risk of stroke.

The study was partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio through the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Martin Seligman, who directs the center and is a long-time optimism researcher, calls the new finding ''a major new discovery."

Optimism has previously been linked to protection against heart attacks, he said.

"Since optimism is teachable, this implies that a trial that teaches optimism to pessimists at risk for stroke might be of real benefit to public health," he said.

Another expert, Hermann Nabi, of the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research, has studied pessimism and stroke risk.

He called the results interesting but also noted some limitations, such as the self-reported stroke history and the limited follow-up. Even so, he terms the new findings "an important contribution to this line of research."

Optimism can definitely be learned, Kim noted.

How to define optimism? "Optimism isn't just the lack of anxiety or depression," Kim said. Someone who seeks help for either anxiety or depression might be lifted from a negative 10 or so on a scale back to zero, or neutral, he said.

"Optimism can bring you back to positive numbers," he said.

More information

To take a test on how optimistic you are, visit Stanford University.

SOURCES: Eric Kim, Ph.D. student, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Hermann Nabi, Ph.D., researcher, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, French National Institute of Health & Medical Research, France; Martin Seligman, Ph.D., director, University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, Philadelphia; July 21, 2011, Stroke, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Demographics cloud optimism on black violent crime decrease
2. Optimism Is Good for Your Heart
3. Unrealistic optimism appears common in early cancer trials
4. Optimism Could Help Kids Keep Depression at Bay
5. Optimism May Boost Immune System
6. Optimism boosts the immune system
7. Controversial Cholesterol Drug Might Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
8. Small Study Suggests Milk, Soy Proteins Lower Blood Pressure Modestly
9. Benefit of blood glucose lowering to near-normal levels remains unclear
10. Contact Allergies Associated With Lower Rates of Some Cancers
11. Bettering Social Status Lowers High Blood Pressure Risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Optimism May Lower Stroke Risk
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare ... (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning ... Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has ... today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula ... the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... AccentCare, a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health ... Home Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP ... the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare ... City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), ... in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , ... Following a ... sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and ... been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today shared the results of a study ... the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study results ... May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical ... Organization (WHO), and recently published in the journal ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ROSEMONT, Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) ... than opioids – to be used as a ... post-surgical pain. ... relationship, the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: