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.
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.