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Happy People Get Fewer Colds

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PITTSBURGH, Jul 28, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Carnegie Mellon researchers who squirted cold viruses up volunteers' noses say they've discovered happy people are three times less likely to get a cold.

And said psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues at the Pittsburgh university also found the positive thinkers who do develop symptoms complain about them less.

The team studied more than 300 initially healthy volunteers. First, each person was interviewed for two weeks to gauge his or her emotional state. Next, researchers squirted rhinovirus, the germ that causes colds, into each subject's nose. Follow-up interviews questioned them daily for five days about any developing symptoms.

People scoring in the bottom third for positive emotions were three times more likely to catch a cold that those scoring in the top third.

Cohen said one possible explanation is that happy people may lead healthier lifestyles than unhappy people.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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