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According to new research, healthy middle-aged women who experience feelings of hopelessness may cause their neck arteries to thicken, which can eventually lead to a stroke.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School published their results online on August 27 in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association and found that negative thinking and feelings of uselessness could affect a women's arteries.
The study examined 559 women who were described as "generally healthy" and showed no signs of cardiovascular disease. Researchers measured hopelessness through a questionnaire that asked about future and personal goals.
"These findings suggest that women who experience feelings of hopelessness may have greater risk for future heart disease and stroke," said Dr Susan A. Everson-Rose, principal investigator of the study. "In fact, our data indicate that hopelessness may be uniquely related to cardiovascular disease risk."
The timing of this study may not be ideal. The weakened economy and poor job market may have many people feeling hopeless, especially with some financial analysts predicting the unemployment rate may reach as high as 10 percent by the end of the year.
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