Heart patients with an optimistic outlook are more likely to be healthier down the road and survive longer than those with less rosy views, new research suggests.
A study reported this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine that followed 2,800 heart patients found that those with more positive attitudes about their recovery had about a 30 percent greater chance of survival after 15 years than patients with pessimistic leanings.
Though other studies have looked at how long it was before patients returned to work, this is the longest, largest study to track survival, says lead author Dr. John Barefoot, professor emeritus at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Optimists may more effectively deal with their condition, such as closely following their treatment plan, while pessimists may experience more tension and stress, which can have damaging effects on the body, the researchers speculated.
"The take-home message is that having positive expectations can not only make you feel better but also potentially live longer," Barefoot said, BusinessWeek reports.