Here's a good message for everyone on Valentine's Day: feeling loved can be one of the best protections against coronary heart disease. It even works if you have a health problem, or if you're depressed.
Scientists discovered the importance of love when they tracked the health of 6,025 men and women without heart disease for 15 years. Overall, 1,141 participants developed heart disease over the lifetime of the study, but those who had a positive outlook, and who were in a loving relationship, reduced their risk considerably.
The researchers assumed that the effect was due to the possibility that people with a positive outlook might adopt good health habits, but the same protective qualities were enjoyed even by those who did little to maintain a good health regime.
So - Happy Valentine's Day to one and all!
(Source: Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007; 64: 1393-1401).