This health video focuses on the research that shows that laughter is the key to a healthy heart.
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Jennifer Matthews: Watching TV in the middle of a work day won't get the job done. But could it save your life? If it's got ya giggling it very well could. Ellen Hiura: Laughter is a great stress reliever and I think it's, it's healing. Jennifer Matthews: Uc-irvine researchers Lee Berk and David Felten say they can prove it. According to their recent study of 48 heart patients, those who's therapy included thirty minutes of humor a day had fewer abnormal heart rates, lower blood pressure, and required less heart medication. one year later just eight percent of those who watched the funny videos suffered a heart attack compared to 42% of those in standard therapy. Dr. Lee Berk: That is, that's amazing. If you or I had come up with a medication that did something like that, we'd be on our way to Stockholm Sweden. Jennifer Matthews: Like aerobic exercise, laughter appears to lower stress hormones that weaken the immune system and restrict blood flow to the heart. And like exercise, the biological effects are long lasting. Dr. David Felten: It lasts longer than just the 30 minutes of watching the humor. It persists for 24 hours even with a single episode. Jennifer Matthews: Felten says every cardiac rehab program should include laughter, the kind that comes from the belly. Paul Baehr: I watch, you know, America's Funniest Home Videos. I like that. That's great, you know? Jennifer Matthews: And that's the best part. You get to write your own prescription. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.