Twitter posts could indicate heart health: Study

Twitter posts could indicate heart health: Study

As per a new research published in Psychological Science, Twitter, like other social media platforms, including Facebook, Google Plus and Yelp, can help know rates of heart disease.

The researchers said that by monitoring expressions like negative emotions, including anger, stress and fatigue, a clear picture can be seen of those communities that are more prone to face heart disease.

The researchers shared that many previous studies have shown that emotions and behaviour are closely linked to one’s risk for coronary heart disease. On the other hand, expressions of happiness and joy were associated with reduced rate of heart attack.

Study’s co-author Margaret Kern, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, said that for long psychological state has been considered to have an effect on coronary heart disease. To cite an example, hostility and depression have been linked with heart disease at an individual level.

The researchers said negative emotions can lead to behavioral and social responses. Also, one is more prone to drinking, unhealthy eating and cut-off from other people and all these factors can somehow lead to heart disease.

In the study, the researchers have gone through public tweets published between 2009 and 2010. The researchers have evaluated the use of words that indicated about emotions and behaviour that may trigger to strong feelings.

The data involved 1,300 US counties containing 88% of the nation’s population. The researchers said counties having tweet expression of negative emotions, like hate, were found to have increased rate of coronary heart disease than the ones where positive words were used like wonderful or friends.

The researchers have affirmed that Twitter may prove as a perfect litmus test for public health. Social media can prove a cost-effective means of gathering data. “Twitter seems to capture a lot of the same information that you get from health and demographic indicators”, affirmed study’s co-author Gregory Park.

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