9th June 08:53
Happy People May Have More Immunities To Common Cold (depression anxiety)
Happy People May Have More Immunities To Common Cold
People who are energetic, happy and relaxed are less likely to catch
colds, while those who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely
to complain about cold symptoms, whether or not they get bitten by
the cold bug, according to a recent study.
Study participants who had a positive emotional style weren't infected
as often and experienced fewer symptoms compared to people with a
negative emotional style, say Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie
Mellon University and colleagues, writing in the July issue of
Cohen's team interviewed 334 healthy volunteers three evenings a week
for two weeks to assess their emotional states. The volunteers
described how they felt that day in three positive-emotion areas:
vigor, well-being and calm. They were also questioned about three
categories of negative feelings: depression, anxiety and hostility.
Other scientists have speculated that people who typically report
experiencing negative emotions are at greater risk for disease and
those who report positive emotions have less risk, says Cohen.
After their assessment, each volunteer got a squirt in the nose of a
rhinovirus -- the germ that causes colds. The researchers kept the
subjects under observation for five days to see whether or not they
became infected and how they manifested symptoms.
"We found that experiencing positive emotions was associated with
greater resistance to developing a common cold," Cohen reports.
"Increases in positive emotional styles were linked with decreases in
the rate of clinical colds, but a negative emotional style had no
effect on whether or not people got sick."
A positive emotional style actually had no effect on how often
volunteers were infected (as measured by replication of the virus) but
produced fewer signs and symptoms of the illness, says Cohen. This
suggests that inflammatory chemicals produced by the body may link the
positive emotional style with colds.
Further ****ysis revealed that good health practices and lower levels
of certain hormones did not account for the link between positive
emotional style and illness.
Since the average person catches two to five colds a year, developing
psychological risk profiles and considering ways to enhance positive
emotion might reduce the risk of colds -- and by extension, other
The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of
Mental Health and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health.
This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Center For
The Advancement Of Health.