Overall, those who died were more pessimistic than the others. People who had scored the highest on the pessimism scale were more than twice as likely to have died of heart disease as were those who were the least pessimistic.
Who may be affected
Adults who are pessimistic. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise and smoking have long been considered key contributors to heart disease and heart attacks.
More recently, stress and depression have been shown to put people at risk for heart problems, too, and researchers are investigating whether various personality traits and mental health and emotional issues affect the heart as well. Coronary artery disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
Much of the data used in the analysis came from the participants’ responses on questionnaires.
Find this study
Online in BMC Public Health.
Learn more about
The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals.