Little is known about the perception of lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Researchers recruited subjects from the Dallas Heart Study, and each subject was classified as high or low for risk of CVD. Subjects were then assessed for their perceived lifetime risk for a myocardial infarction. There was significant discordance between perceived and predicted lifetime risk.
An analysis of baseline examination data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Artherosclerosis was conducted in order to investigate predictors of cardiovascular health (CVH) - a global measure of one's burden of cardiovascular risk factors. Neighborhood environment - such as favorable food stores, physical activity resources, and walking/physical activity environment - and neighborhood socioeconomic status were found to be associated with ideal CVH.
Positive psychological well-being, especially optimism, protects against the incidence, and somewhat against the progression, of cardiovascular disease through a broad array of mechanisms, according to this extensive literature review.
Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through a grant, "Exploring the Concept of Positive Health," to the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania.