Twitter can predict rates of heart disease

Posted By: PTI
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Washington, Jan 22: Popular microblogging site Twitter can accurately predict a community's rate of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, researchers, including those of Indian-origin, have found.

Studies have identified many factors that contribute to the risk of heart disease: traditional ones, like low income or smoking and also psychological ones, like stress. Twitter can capture more information about heart disease risk than many traditional factors combined, as it also characterises the psychological atmosphere of a community, said researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.


They found that expressions of negative emotions such as anger, stress and fatigue in a US county's tweets were associated with higher heart disease risk. On the other hand, positive emotions like excitement and optimism were associated with lower risk. The study was led by Johannes Eichstaedt, a graduate student in the School of Arts.


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