Study: Attitude can have major effect on health

Nov 11, 2010

A positive outlook may deliver more health benefits than previously thought.

People have long heard of the benefits of keeping a positive outlook. However, recent research suggests that there actually is truth to the idea that one's attitude can directly affect their health and well-being.

In fact, this week the American Heart Association highlighted a new study which found that people who have a Type D personality tend to be at higher risk for cardiovascular problems in the longer term. According to the organization, a Type D personality tends to be characterized by "chronic negative emotions, pessimism and social inhibition."

"Type D patients tend to experience increased levels of anxiety, irritation and depressed mood across situations and time, while not sharing these emotions with others because of fear of disapproval," said Dr. Viola Spek, the senior author of the study, "We found that Type D personality predicts mortality and morbidity in these patients, independent of traditional medical risk factors."

Along with heart trouble, researchers are also warning that Type D personalities are at higher risk for psychological conditions like clinical depression and anxiety.

People who feel they may be at risk for a chronic health condition should take preventative measures, since along with decreased life expectancy and higher risk of hospitalization, a diagnosis of heart disease can greatly impact the price they pay for life insurance premiums.

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