Happy Tweets Could Be Signs Of A Healthy Heart

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A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. Reuters/Eric Thayer

A new research by the University of Pennsylvania has found that tweets could offer a glimpse into the health of one's heart. They found that what people said on Twitter was correlated with the mortality rates of heart disease and that those who had happy tweets had a healthier heart. The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal which reports the latest findings in the field of psychology. 

According to ABC News, researchers looked into 140 million tweets from 2009 to 2010. But the researchers had no access to the individual health status of the Twitter users.

Johannes Eichstaedt, lead researcher and a Ph. D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, said that getting data of individual Twitter users from the social media giant would be both, difficult and expensive. He added that the data from Twitter was a window into the psychological status of the users. He said that that the single word predictor of heart disease, which was also the single most predictive feature was "hate." He said that one could not make that up.

According to the data from Twitter and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national public health institute, communities in which people had more tweets regarding hostility, fatigue and hatred had a higher chance of heart disease. People who wrote tweets with regards to optimism seemed to have a healthier heart. 

Dr Sahil Parikh, a cardiologist at UH Case Medical Center in Ohio, applauded the creativity of the researchers but mentioned that the readers should consider the results of the study with a "very large grain of salt." He said that since there was significant research to back that negative emotions that was related to stress could predict heart disease, it was reasonable to say such a statement. He also noted that the people who were suffering from heart attacks and the age difference amongst the users of social media did not match. 

 Parikh explained that men seemed to have a higher risk of heart disease as they approached the age of 55 while women had a higher risk when they reached the age of 65. He said that he did not know how many of the woman, in the age bracket of 65-75, took to tweeting.