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Love Is Good for the Heart
Excerpt By Richard Woodman, Reuters Health

LONDON (Reuters Health) - Cardiologists issued their own special Valentine's day message this week--love is good for the heart.

As romantics sent cards and red roses, the World Heart Federation said: "Valentine's Day lovers have another reason to celebrate today as findings show that being in love and being loved helps to keep us healthy and is particularly good for our hearts."

The federation, a Geneva-based non-governmental organisation dedicated to preventing heart disease, said that love also reduces stress, depression and anxiety, three major risk factors for heart disease.

"One out of three deaths across the world are now due to heart disease and stroke, six times more than HIV/AIDS related deaths," said Professor Philip Poole-Wilson, a cardiologist at Imperial College, London, and president-elect of the federation.

"This is why we are stressing the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and on Valentine's Day the positive impact that love can make in keeping your heart healthy."

The federation said that many published studies show that psychological risk factors as well as physical ones are involved in heart disease.

In one five-year study, 10,000 men at high risk of developing angina (heart disease-related chest pain) were asked, "Does your wife show you her love"? Those who said "Yes" had half the risk of getting angina.

Another study had followed 1,400 men and women with coronary artery disease. After five years, 15% of those who were married or had a confidant were dead compared with 50% of those who were unmarried and had no confidant.

The federation consists of 166 member societies of cardiology and heart foundations from 97 countries.

Reference Source 89



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