Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love is good for Heart and Health

I have read an interesting article linking love to good heart and health and I'm sharing it to you. Based on the US National Longitudinal Study which have been tracking more than a million subjects since 1979 shows that married people live longer, have fewer heart attacks and lower cancer rates than single people.

In a University of Carolina study conducted in 2005 found that hugging may dramatically lower blood pressure and boost blood levels of oxytocin, a relaxing hormone that plays a key role in labor, breastfeeding and orgasms. Women with the highest oxytocin levels had systolic blood pressure that was 10 mm Hg lower than those with low oxytocin levels, an improvement similar to the effect of many leading blood pressure medications. While the blood pressure lowering effect was not seen in men, researchers believed that guys would derive the same health benefits from the steady sex precipitated by regular snuggling which leads to the result of the study in Bristol, England that men who had sex two or more times a week cut their risk of having a fatal heart attack in half. A National Cancer Institute study found that men who ejaculate frequently may be protecting themselves against a prostate cancer.

With these findings in research, the message is simple. Love and be loved. It surely is good for your heart! Love in many splendid forms - caring, friendship, romance, sex - makes and keeps human being happy. People in strong, healthy relationships with family and friends and lovers prove this beyond doubt. However, there is scientific evidence showing that love can also fight disease, boost immunity and lower stress.

A 13-year study by researchers from San Diego State University and University of Pittsburgh found that middle-aged women in good marriages were less likely to develop risk factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases than unmarried women or those in unsatisfying marriages. Results in the research indicated that women in satisfying marriages had lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body mass index, depression, anxiety and anger than women in poor marriages and those who were unmarried (single, widowed or divorced).

Previous research indicates that marriage itself may offer a health advantage by providing social support and protecting against the risks associated with social isolation. Also, spousal influence and involvement may encourage health-promoting behavior. Married people, especially women, may also enjoy a health advantage over their unmarried counterparts through the increased availability of socioeconomic resources.

On the other hand, marital stress is associated with lifestyle risk factors and non-adherence to medical regimens. An unhealthy marriage is also linked to more depression, hostility and anger - all risk factors for heart disease. Thus, marital status and quality could influence metabolic risk factors and acute stress responses, which in turn predict a person's risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease.
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