Optimism Linked To Better Cardiovascular Health

Rosalba Hernandez and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, IL recently reported a link between optimism and cardiovascular health, derived from a large, ethnically and racially diverse population study, being perhaps the first in this field.

Begun in 2000, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) included 6,000 people from six U.S. regions, followed participants for 11 years, and cardiovascular health was assessed using seven metrics, the same metrics used by the American Heart Association (AHA) to define heart health.

The study reports that individuals’ total health scores are proportional to their levels of optimism, and “people who were the most optimistic were 50 and 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges, respectively”.

These results suggest that “prevention strategies that target modification of psychological well-being may be a potential avenue for AHA to reach its goal of improving Americans’ cardiovascular health by 20 percent before 2020.”

Read more: news.illinois.edu