Twitter can be used to predict rates of heart disease, a new US study shows.
University of Pennsylvania researchers analysed 140 million random tweets from 2009 and 2010 and found that expressions of negative emotions in a community’s tweets were associated with higher heart disease risk.
Angry expressions, such as “hate”, were strongly correlated with heart disease mortality, said lead researcher Johannes Eichstaedt, a PhD candidate at the university.
On the other hand, positive emotional language, such as “wonderful” and “friends”, showed the opposite correlation, suggesting optimism and happy experiences might be protective against heart disease, he said.
The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.