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Optimism may cut risk of stroke

Researchers from the US have found that people who have a positive outlook on life may be at a lower risk of suffering a stroke.

A team led by Eric Kim, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, compared the optimism levels of around 6,000 adults over 50 years of age with their stroke rate.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, found that the risk of suffering a stroke lowered by 9% with each point increase in optimism over a two-year follow-up period.

The conclusions were made after taking into account factors that could have an impact on the risk of a stroke, including chronic illness and other health issues, as well as social and lifestyle factors.

Researchers said that optimism seemed to have a quick impact on stroke, as the study followed the participants for only two years.

Previous studies have already shown that people who are optimistic are more likely to have better heart health and improved immune systems.

Stroke risk was also found to be lower in those who are less pessimistic and have short-term positive emotions.

Copyright Press Association 2011