Optimism and Cardiovascular Health: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Health Behav Policy Rev. 2015 Jan;2(1):62-73. doi: 10.14485/HBPR.2.1.6.


Objectives: We examined the cross-sectional association between optimism and cardiovascular health (CVH).

Methods: We used data collected from adults aged 52-84 who participated in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) (n=5,134) during the first follow-up visit (2002-2004). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations of optimism with ideal and intermediate CVH (with reference being poor CVH), after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and psychological ill-being.

Results: Participants in the highest quartile of optimism were more likely to have intermediate [OR=1.51:95%CI=1.25,1.82] and ideal [OR=1.92:95%CI=1.30,2.85] CVH when compared to the least optimistic group. Individual CVH metrics of diet, physical activity, BMI, smoking, blood sugar and total cholesterol contributed to the overall association.

Conclusions: We offer evidence for a cross-sectional association between optimism and CVH.

Keywords: cardiovascular health; optimism; well-being.