The lungpower of 670 men aged 45 to 86 was measured through a scoring system, and after compensating for other factors that can negatively effect lungpower -- such as smoking -- it was discovered that men who had a higher level of long-standing anger toward the start of the eight-year project had significantly reduced lungpower compared to those with lower anger levels.
"This study is one of the first to show prospectively that hostility is associated with poorer pulmonary function and more rapid rates of decline among older men," said researcher Dr. Rosalind Wright of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass.
According to the results reported by Wright and her co-authors, negative emotions may change biological process, disrupt the immune system, and cause chronic inflammation.
"Stress-related factors are known to depress the immune function and increase susceptibility to or exacerbate a host of diseases and disorders," said Dr Paul Lehrer, of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, in an accompanying editorial. "The next step is to determine the exact pathway by which this happens."
"This researcher provides further evidence of the mind-body link in human health," explained Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and author of Take Back Your Health Power! "Good health is about much more than just chemical health, it's about your state of mind, emotions and intentions," he added. "If you want a healthy body with a healthy immune system, you must learn to relax, eliminate stress and anger, and strive for harmony with your environment."
To reduce negative emotions, Adams recommends meditation, exercise, yoga, Tai Chi, therapeutic work with energy healers, engaging in the creative arts and spending time in nature. "Nature is automatically calming and reduces stress," he says.