Introduction: The relationship between positive psychological well-being (PPWB) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is inconsistent across different CVD outcomes and for different PPWB constructs, such as positive affect. In addition, the relationship between PPWB and CVD as a composite measure is rarely assessed. Objective: To assess whether positive affect is protective of incident CVD. Method: Positive affect was assessed in two cohorts between 1993 and 2001 in Rotterdam using relevant questions from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; in a sub-sample) in 6349 non-demented, CVD-free, consenting adults, aged 55. +. years. Composite CVD was defined as stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease, which were continuously monitored through medical records until 1st April 2010. Results: There were 1480 (23.3%) first time CVD events during follow-up (11.9. ±. 2.8 SD. years, 58,416. person-years). Positive affect was not associated with incident CVD (CES-D HR: 1.00 per point, 95% CI: 0.98-1.02; HADS HR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.92-1.05). Stratification by age or sex and assessment of separate CVD outcome did not change results. Conclusion: In this large, population-based study, there was no association between positive affect and twelve-year incident CVD in older adults who were free of diagnosed CVD at baseline.

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Keywords Cardiovascular disease, Coronary heart disease, Happiness, Heart failure, Positive affect, Stroke, Well-being
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Journal Preventive Medicine
Freak-Poli, R.L, Mirza, S.S, Franco, O.H, Ikram, M.A, Hofman, A, & Tiemeier, H.W. (2015). Positive affect is not associated with incidence of cardiovascular disease: A population-based study of older persons. Preventive Medicine, 74, 14–20. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.01.032