Positive well-being is associated with nearly a one-third reduction in heart disease in a high-risk population with a positive family history and a 13% reduction in incident heart disease in a national probability sample, Lisa R. Yanek, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported in the American Journal of Cardiology.
In the past, negative psychological states and diagnoses such as depression and anxiety have long been found to be predictive of poor cardiovascular outcomes.
In the study positive well-being was measured using the General Well-Being Schedule (GWBS) and predicted heart disease incidence in 1,483 siblings of people who had coronary events before the age of 60.
The researchers classified the siblings into high-, intermediate-, and low-risk strata according to the
risk score and followed them for 5
to 25 years. Over a mean follow-up period of 12 years, the siblings experienced
208 coronary events, including myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death,
acute coronary syndrome, and the need for revascularization procedures. Framingham
Results showed that the 1275 siblings who did not have a coronary event had a mean GWBS score of 75.0 points versus 69.7 points for the 208 siblings who did have an event.
Looked at another way, siblings with greater baseline GWBS scores were 33% less likely to develop heart disease, independent of age, gender, race, and traditional risk factors.
Protection was strongest in siblings in the high
stratum: Those with higher GWBS scores were 48% less likely to develop heart
disease than those with lower scores. Framingham
The researchers then repeated the study, using a sample of 5,992 people from the general population who participated in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In this group, those with higher GWBS scores were 13% less likely to have a coronary event than those with lower scores. (Source: MedPage Today, Dr Sanjay Gupta)