His Healthy Heart

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He's Gotta Have Friends

The next time you accuse the man in your life of hanging out with the guys too much, consider this: Men who spend time with friends on a regular basis are about half as likely as their isolated counterparts to develop heart disease.

A 2004 study published in the European Heart Journal followed 741 50-year-old men for 15 years and noted their levels of social support. It found that friendless men were more likely to have evidence of inflammation in their blood vessels. While the mechanisms by which relationships make for a healthier heart are still unclear, researchers note that the differences in the men who had many friends versus those who didn't were not related to stress or standard risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Continued on page 3:  Lower Cholesterol Counts


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