Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Disease: JACC Health Promotion Series

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Sep 18;72(12):1382-1396. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.07.042.


Facets of positive psychological well-being, such as optimism, have been identified as positive health assets because they are prospectively associated with the 7 metrics of cardiovascular health (CVH) and improved outcomes related to cardiovascular disease. Connections between psychological well-being and cardiovascular conditions may be mediated through biological, behavioral, and psychosocial pathways. Individual-level interventions, such as mindfulness-based programs and positive psychological interventions, have shown promise for modifying psychological well-being. Further, workplaces are using well-being-focused interventions to promote employee CVH, and these interventions represent a potential model for expanding psychological well-being programs to communities and societies. Given the relevance of psychological well-being to promoting CVH, this review outlines clinical recommendations to assess and promote well-being in encounters with patients. Finally, a research agenda is proposed. Additional prospective observational studies are needed to understand mechanisms underlying the connection between psychological well-being and cardiovascular outcomes. Moreover, rigorous intervention trials are needed to assess whether psychological well-being-promoting programs can improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; cardiovascular health; health behaviors; optimism; positive psychological well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Mindfulness
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Optimism
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control