Positive Cardiovascular Health: A Timely Convergence

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Two concepts, positive health and cardiovascular health, have emerged recently from the respective fields of positive psychology and preventive cardiology. These parallel constructs are converging to foster positive cardiovascular healthand a growing collaboration between psychologists and cardiovascular scientists to achieve significant improvements in both individual and population cardiovascular health. We explore these 2 concepts and note close similarities in the measures that define them, the health states that they aim to produce, and their intended long-term clinical and public health outcomes. We especially examine subjective health assets, such as optimism, that are a core focus of positive psychology, but have largely been neglected in preventive cardiology. We identify research to date on positive cardiovascular health, discuss its strengths and limitations thus far, and outline directions for further engagement of cardiovascular scientists with colleagues in positive psychology to advance this new field.


This article was originally published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, volume 68, issue 8, in 2016. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.03.608