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Pessimistic teenagers are candidates for heart disease

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People who are optimistic and have a positive outlook when they are adolescents are less likely to suffer from heart disease when they’re older.

It’s a new risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and schoolchildren and teenagers should be taught coping techniques and resilience to lessen their chances of developing the problem later, say researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

They made the discovery after they had profiled the mental outlook of 20,000 adolescents when they were 15 years old and checked on their health every few years after that.

Understanding that our outlook when we are adolescents is a risk factor for heart disease gives doctors a new insight that could help them identify those most at risk and so teach them techniques to see the world in a more positive light.

It’s just the first step in a new branch of medicine and more work needs to be done, the researchers say.

(Source: Benchmarking, 2021; doi: 10.1108/BIJ-06-2021-0369)

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Article Topics: medicine
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