Print Edition - 2019-02-28  |  Health and Living

Laughter reduces the risk of heart attack

  • Healthy habits

Feb 28, 2019-

Laughter is linked to the healthy function of blood vessels and greatly helps with heart health. A Maryland School of Medicine study found that laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels (the endothelium) to expand in order to increase blood flow, while stress has the opposite effect, constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow.

Laughing maintains a healthy endothelium and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. When you laugh, the blood flow increases and the blood pressure rises; but when you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its baseline. This relaxing effect helps bring down blood pressure. This generates deeper breathing, which in turn sends more oxygenated blood through the body.

Laughter helps reduce the stress hormones produced in the hypothalamus section of the brain, lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke. Among patients with heart disease, those with a pessimistic outlook about their ability to recover enough to eventually resume their daily routine were more than twice as likely as optimists to have died one year later, even when severity of the condition was taken into account.

Published: 28-02-2019 12:39

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