Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Disease: JACC Health Promotion Series

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Facets of positive psychological well-being, such as optimism, have been identified as positive health assets because they are prospectively associated with the 7 metrics of cardiovascular health (CVH) and improved outcomes related to cardiovascular disease. Connections between psychological well-being and cardiovascular conditions may be mediated through biological, behavioral, and psychosocial pathways. Individual-level interventions, such as mindfulness-based programs and positive psychological interventions, have shown promise for modifying psychological well-being. Further, workplaces are using well-being–focused interventions to promote employee CVH, and these interventions represent a potential model for expanding psychological well-being programs to communities and societies. Given the relevance of psychological well-being to promoting CVH, this review outlines clinical recommendations to assess and promote well-being in encounters with patients. Finally, a research agenda is proposed. Additional prospective observational studies are needed to understand mechanisms underlying the connection between psychological well-being and cardiovascular outcomes. Moreover, rigorous intervention trials are needed to assess whether psychological well-being–promoting programs can improve cardiovascular outcomes.


This article was originally published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, volume 72, issue 12, in 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.07.042