Miscellaneous| Volume 106, ISSUE 6, P856-859, September 15, 2010

Download started.


Effect of Mirthful Laughter on Vascular Function

      In contrast to the well-established scientific evidence linking negative emotional states (e.g., depression, anxiety, or anger) to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, much less is known about the association between positive emotional states (e.g., laughter, happiness) and cardiovascular health. We determined the effects of mirthful laughter, elicited by watching comic movies, on endothelial function and central artery compliance. Seventeen apparently healthy adults (23 to 42 years of age) watched 30 minutes of a comedy or a documentary (control) on separate days (crossover design). Heart rate and blood pressure increased significantly while watching the comedy, whereas no such changes were seen while watching the documentary. Ischemia-induced brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (by B-mode ultrasound imaging) increased significantly after watching the comedy (17%) and decreased with watching the documentary (−15%). Carotid arterial compliance (by simultaneous application of ultrasound imaging and applanation tonometry) increased (10%) significantly immediately after watching the comedy and returned to baseline 24 hours after the watching, whereas it did not change significantly throughout the documentary condition. Comedy-induced changes in arterial compliance were significantly associated with baseline flow-mediated dilation (r = 0.63). These results suggest that mirthful laughter elicited by comic movies induces beneficial impact on vascular function.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Cardiology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Papousek I.
        • Schulter G.
        Effects of a mood-enhancing intervention on subjective well-being and cardiovascular parameters.
        Int J Behav Med. 2008; 15: 293-302
        • Sugawara J.
        • Komine H.
        • Hayashi K.
        • Yoshizawa M.
        • Otsuki T.
        • Shimojo N.
        • Miyauchi T.
        • Yokoi T.
        • Maeda S.
        • Tanaka H.
        Reduction in alpha-adrenergic receptor-mediated vascular tone contributes to improved arterial compliance with endurance training.
        Int J Cardiol. 2009; 135: 346-352
        • Tanaka H.
        • Dinenno F.A.
        • Monahan K.D.
        • Clevenger C.M.
        • DeSouza C.A.
        • Seals D.R.
        Aging, habitual exercise, and dynamic arterial compliance.
        Circulation. 2000; 102: 1270-1275
        • Cortez-Cooper M.Y.
        • Supak J.A.
        • Tanaka H.
        A new device for automatic measurements of arterial stiffness and ankle-brachial index.
        Am J Cardiol. 2003; 91: 1519-1522
        • Sugawara J.
        • Komine H.
        • Hayashi K.
        • Maeda S.
        • Matsuda M.
        Relationship between augmentation index obtained from carotid and radial artery pressure waveforms.
        J Hypertens. 2007; 25: 375-381
        • Corretti M.C.
        • Anderson T.J.
        • Benjamin E.J.
        • Celermajer D.
        • Charbonneau F.
        • Creager M.A.
        • Deanfield J.
        • Drexler H.
        • Gerhard-Herman M.
        • Herrington D.
        • Vallance P.
        • Vita J.
        • Vogel R.
        Guidelines for the ultrasound assessment of endothelial-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery: a report of the International Brachial Artery Reactivity Task Force.
        J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002; 39: 257-265
        • Watson D.
        • Clark L.A.
        • Tellegen A.
        Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales.
        J Pers Soc Psychol. 1988; 54: 1063-1070
        • Vlachopoulos C.
        • Xaplanteris P.
        • Alexopoulos N.
        • Aznaouridis K.
        • Vasiliadou C.
        • Baou K.
        • Stefanadi E.
        • Stefanadis C.
        Divergent effects of laughter and mental stress on arterial stiffness and central hemodynamics.
        Psychosom Med. 2009; 71: 446-453
        • Miller M.
        • Mangano C.
        • Park Y.
        • Goel R.
        • Plotnick G.D.
        • Vogel R.A.
        Impact of cinematic viewing on endothelial function.
        Heart. 2006; 92: 261-262
        • Miller M.
        • Fry W.F.
        The effect of mirthful laughter on the human cardiovascular system.
        Med Hypotheses. 2009; 73: 636-639
        • Davidson K.W.
        • Mostofsky E.
        • Whang W.
        Don't worry, be happy: positive affect and reduced 10-year incident coronary heart disease: the Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey.
        Eur Heart J. 2010; 31: 1065-1070
        • Thompson P.D.
        • Crouse S.F.
        • Goodpaster B.
        • Kelley D.
        • Moyna N.
        • Pescatello L.
        The acute versus the chronic response to exercise.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001; 33: S438-S445
        • Durstine J.L.
        • Grandjean P.W.
        • Cox C.A.
        • Thompson P.D.
        Lipids, lipoproteins, and exercise.
        J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2002; 22: 385-398