Optimism is good for heart health, at least among men.
Men who believe that they are at lower-than-average risk for cardiovascular disease actually experienced a three times lower incidence of death from heart attacks and strokes. The data did not support the same conclusion among women.
One possible explanation for the gender difference is that the study began in 1990, when heart disease was believed to be primarily a threat to men; women's judgments about how at risk they were for heart attacks might have been disproportionately low.
The 15-year surveillance study involved almost 3,000 adults between the ages of 35 and 75 who had no history of heart disease.
* Science Blog July 14, 2008