By On January 26th, 2007

Cynical People Pay Inflammatory Price

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

The scriptures are full of reflections on how attitude can effect one’s spirit and body. The idea that a positive outlook can have a healthy effect on an individual is not new but has been recently supported by clinical studies. According to a recent study published in the January 22nd Archives of Internal Medicine, people that are cynical and distrustful have higher levels of inflammatory markers, which are related to atherosclerosis. This study, performed by Nalini Ranjit, Ph.D. and colleagues, offers more support for the idea that a positive outlook is a contributing factor, not only to good mental health, but physical as well. The following is an excerpt of an article that discusses the study:

Pollyanna is more likely to be in good cardiovascular health than Doubting Thomas, researchers here suggested.

People who are cynically distrustful tend to have higher levels of inflammatory markers associated with atherosclerosis than those with everlastingly sunny dispositions, reported epidemiologist Nalini Ranjit, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, and colleagues.

Other psychosocial factors associated with inflammation included chronic stress and depression, the investigators reported in the Jan. 22 Archives of Internal Medicine.
“We found that cynical distrust, depression, and chronic stress are associated with higher concentrations of inflammatory markers in a population-based healthy sample,” they wrote. “Our cross-sectional results are compatible with a mediating role of behaviors, body mass index, and diabetes mellitus, although definite conclusions regarding mediation can only be drawn from longitudinal design.”

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