Optimism and Cardiovascular Health: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

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Objectives We examined the cross-sectional association between optimism and cardiovascular health (CVH).

Methods We used data collected from adults aged 52–84 who participated in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) (n=5,134) during the first follow-up visit (2002–2004). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations of optimism with ideal and intermediate CVH (with reference being poor CVH), after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and psychological ill-being.

Results Participants in the highest quartile of optimism were more likely to have intermediate [OR=1.51:95%CI=1.25,1.82] and ideal [OR=1.92:95%CI=1.30,2.85] CVH when compared to the least optimistic group. Individual CVH metrics of diet, physical activity, BMI, smoking, blood sugar and total cholesterol contributed to the overall association.

Conclusions We offer evidence for a cross-sectional association between optimism and CVH.


This is a pre-copy-editing PDF of an article accepted for publication in Health Behavior and Policy Review, volume 2, issue 1, in 2015. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.14485/HBPR.2.1.6


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