Laugh for Your Heart

Dr. Michael Miller, cardiologist at University of Maryland says stress is perhaps the most underrated of all our heart disease risk factors.

New research shows just how laughing affects your body and helps prevent heart disease. In a study, Dr. Miller and colleagues showed volunteers a funny movie as well as a stressful one. The endothelium which is the lining of the blood vessels was measured before and after watching both movies.

Dr. Miller says there is a direct effect of how our endothelium behaves and the development and progression of heart disease.

Dr. Miller says you don't need to laugh for 15 to 20 minutes a day. He says a few good hearty laughs a day is all it takes to reduce stress and have a beneficial effect on blood vessels.

There are certified laughter clubs all over the country. For a list, log onto