Heart disease risk & human happiness and relationships

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Today while preparing a talk on heart disease and cardiac risk factors I read about the now famous Harvard study of adult human development started in 1938 and still going on. It’s a very intriguing and eye opening study and the results are paradigm shifting for most of us.

The study can be searched by the name of ‘ longest study human happines’ and can be seen beautifully summarised in a TED talk video by its present director Dr Walington .

The crux of the study is that the secret of long lasting health ( including heart health )  and happiness lies not in the amount of IQ or amount of wealth or amount of professional success. It also is not absolutely related to your sugar or cholesterol levels or your physical health but the most strongly related factor for long term happiness is the absolute quality of your relations and social support…….!!!!!

As a cardiologist I am everyday questioned by young people suffering from heart attacks that despite being so physically fit and so health conscious why are they the victims of heat disease ? The answers lie somewhere in the non medical dimensions of heart health that I will elaborate later……

Health is a holistic term that includes not only physical or medical well being but also your emotional, social and mental well-being. Just being peak fit physically but depressed or stressed mentally can make you sick soon. And not to be depressed or stressed depends majorly on your relationships, their quality and your appreciation of those.

So it’s very very important not just to tender your body but also cater to your emotional and social needs. Don’t forget a touch is worth a thousand words . It’s better to personally meet few friends a month then to wish scores of people on social media. A real smile outweighs thousands of virtual likes. So keep meeting friends and kind and invest in your quality relationships. That way you will not only be happy but will also push away the risks of all diseases including heart disease.

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