Land and oceans
White roofs could cool cities: study
Enzyme crystal helps crack HIV puzzle
Sugar sweetens decision making
Twilight zone secrets revealed
Astronomers spot asteroid collision
Algae master quantum mechanics
Protein 'ushers' key to beating malaria
Researchers spin artificial bee silk
New view of Pluto increases mystery
Cell's power packs came from within
Antarctic snow linked to WA dry
Termites inspire hydrophobic materials
Study shows why it's scary to lose money
Soil impact underestimated: climate study
Lack of oxygen forced fish's first breath
Harder Sudoku puzzles on the way?
Weed genes could help feed the world
Logging makes forests more flammable: study
Food crisis looms warn scientists
Tiny sensors track 'lost' objects
'Climategate' university orders review
'Plumbing' key to flowering success
New twist on solar cell design
Scientists set new temperature record
Happiness linked to healthy heart
New research shows that people who are cheery are less likely to develop heart disease than those who are down in the dumps.

There's been speculation that people with a positive attitude have stronger hearts.

The Canadian scientists say their decade-long study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, has produced the first objective data to support the belief.

Psychiatrist Dr Karina Davidson, who is now working at Columbia University in New York, began the study more than 10 years ago.

Her team filmed interviews with more than 1700 people in Nova Scotia, Canada.

"We asked them about daily hassles, their daily routine, hypotheticals, what they do in certain situations and then the video tapes were coded for the amount of positive emotions or positive affect that was expressed," says Davidson.

The scientists tracked the people for a decade and at the end found those who had shown the most happiness and satisfaction were less likely to have had a heart attack.

"The very happiest people were quite protected from heart disease," says Davidson. "Those who showed moderate amount were somewhat protected and those who showed none at all were at increased risk."

She says the study revealed a positive attitude reduces the risk of heart disease by 22%.
Relaxed mind and body

Davidson says that could be because happy people tend to have healthier lifestyle habits, but the reasons could also be physiological.

"When someone is satisfied, content, feeling pleasure and enjoyment in the activity that they're doing, they have what is called a relaxation response. Their stress hormones go down, their blood pressure goes down, their heart rate slows."

The research team also hasn't ruled out that a common factor like genetics could be causing both the emotions and the heart disease.

Still, Davidson says for the sake of good health, people should do things they like every day.

"Ten to 15 minutes of something that you enjoy doing whether that's reading the newspaper, going for a walk, speaking to a friend," she says.

What if what you like to do and what relaxes you most is sitting in front of a DVD eating junk food?

"Both health care professionals and psychologists try and work with people to find the things that are not heart damaging," says Davidson. "So maybe you can sit in front of a TV with friends and not eat the high fat food or drink to excess."

Horny mother beetles fight for dung
Light-speed computing one step closer
Small asteroids 'just lumps of gravel'
Gene study reveals diverse gut zoo
Dinosaur extinction caused by asteroid: study
Study finds methane bubbling from Arctic
New view reveals Mars' icy history
Some nano-sunscreens 'come at a cost'
Dust bunnies could harbour toxic load
Aphid genome reveals its 'Achilles heel'
Tailored diet may slow down DNA damage
Scientist probe ballistic chameleon tongue
Moa eggshells yield ancient DNA
Toothbrush tech helps buses go green
Gene protects some Tassie devils from tumour
Smaller fish cope better with acidic water
Lunar mirror mystery solved
Parents give fewer bad genes than thought
Women on pill may live longer
Antarctic winds affect key ocean layer
Researchers uncover thalidomide mystery
Boost for evidence of early ocean
Ocean geoengineering may prove lethal
People leave unique 'germ print'
Rogue star on collision course
Butterflies 'fly early as planet warms'
Glaucoma may start in the brain
Tools push back dates for humans on Flores
Stem cell capsules to target broken bones
Ecstasy damages complex memory: study
Earliest animals flexed their muscles
Insomnia may shrink the brain: study
Experts call for 'resilience thinking'
Tutu's DNA could point to medical cures
Humble algae key to whale evolution
Happiness linked to healthy heart
Fewer cyclones, but more intense: study
Cosmic candles result of colliding stars
Flightless mosquitoes may curb dengue
Childhood poverty may leave its mark
Cautious response to technology strategy
Nanowire RAM to make ever-ready computers
Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?
There's iron in them thar Martian hills
'Shell Crusher' shark swam ancient oceans
Nanotechnology may tap into your mind
Small dogs originated in the Middle East
Brain 'hears' sound of silence
Swimmers 'may not understand' tsunami risk
Altruism surfaces on slow-sinking ship
Chile quake tops Haiti, but less deadly
Weedkiller 'makes boy frogs lay eggs'
Visit Statistics