Twitter Tweets Predict Heart Disease Risk: Certain Words Linked to HIgher Risk

By Maria Slither - 23 Jan '15 11:32AM

A recent study said that angry tweets are closely related to the risk of getting heart disease, The Economic Times reports.

Mainly, the study suggests that tweets expressing anger and anxiety or tweets that contain 'hate' and other expletive words are correlated with the mortality of a person and communities where people gave out negative tweets are recorded to have higher heart attack incidents, a separate report from Engadget said.

Hostility and depression have been linked with heart disease at the individual level through biological effects," said Margaret Kern, an assistant professor at the University of Melbourne, one of the members of the study.

The study led by Johannes Eichstaedt, founder of the World Well-Being Project, from the University of Pennsylvania conducted the study by examine tweets and health data among among 1,300 US counties from 2009-2010 that are said contain at least 88 percent of the overall US population.

It also examined other physical factors like smoking, diabetes, income and education, obesity.

According to the Washington Post, the researchers used the tweets as they are believed to mirror the psychological trait a person has at the moment. "It's a pretty aggressive action to be cursing, to dropping the f-bomb on Twitter. This sort of hints at the behavior that these people."

Further, Eichstaedt said that the kind of tweets that people in a community posted reflect the overall atmosphere that everyone is experiencing and thus reflect environmental factors that contributed to stressful situations.

"These people are the canaries of the psychological profile of their communities. Certainly, hostility and anger is very likely to spread person to person. So even if we both live in the most beautiful neighborhood in New York City, and I'm really, really angry and I'm on the road with you, you will get some of that anger," Eichstaedt said.

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