Here's a reason to smile. Happy people have healthier lungs. Researchers followed the lung health of nearly 700 men over 60 for several years. The team study by Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found those who had a more optimistic outlook had healthier lungs and they developed problems at a slower rate than their pessimistic peers.
The researchers believe a person's outlook may somehow influence specific immune system functions which affect airway inflammation. They say even though pessimistic personalities are more likely to smoke. The researchers found that the happy smokers also had better lung function than the smokers with a bad attitude.
The study was conducted by an instructor in medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and was presented this week at presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Atlanta.