Laughter is the "Best Medicine" for Your Heart

Uploaded 8 Jan 2012 — 4 favorites
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© Saroj Swain
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UploadedJanuary 8, 2012
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D90
Exposure1/125 sec at f/5.6
FlashCompulsory Flash, Return light not detected
Focal Length25 mm
ISO400
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Laughter is the "Best Medicine" for Your Heart

Can a laugh every day keep the heart attack away? Maybe so.

Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.

"The old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine,' definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart," says Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We don't know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack."

In the study, researchers compared the humor responses of 300 people. Half of the participants had either suffered a heart attack or undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. The other 150 did not have heart disease. One questionnaire had a series of multiple-choice answers to find out how much or how little people laughed in certain situations, and the second one used true or false answers to measure anger and hostility.

Miller said that the most significant study finding was that "people with heart disease responded less humorously to everyday life situations." They generally laughed less, even in positive situations, and they displayed more anger and hostility.
Couples enjoying in snow

"The ability to laugh -- either naturally or as learned behavior -- may have important implications in societies such as the U.S. where heart disease remains the number one killer," says Miller. "We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list."
http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm

5 responses

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (8 Jan 2012):

    I don't know how factual this is, but I totally agree about the importance of laughter in life, what ever else it makes life 100% better when one laughs!!!

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes   gave props (8 Jan 2012):

    I'm lucky...I have some good people I work with that keep me laughing all the time, it makes my day!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (8 Jan 2012):

    I do know starting your day with a smile whether you feel like it or not helps. A great series!!

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett   gave props (8 Jan 2012):

    Great information!! This is a very laugh-contagious shot!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (12 Jan 2012):

    I have to agree!

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