Optimism helps prevent cardiovascular disease, death

30 Jun 2022
Optimism helps prevent cardiovascular disease, death

Being optimistic appears to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and of cardiovascular disease (CVD), claims a recent study.

A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to assess the association between optimism and the risk of developing adverse events such as all-cause mortality or fatal and nonfatal CVD in community-based populations.

The investigators performed a systematic search of electronic databases from inception through November 2021 for prospective studies evaluating optimism and adverse outcomes.

Two reviewers independently selected studies that examined optimism and either all-cause mortality or CVD and reported hazard ratios of these outcomes between optimistic and nonoptimistic cohorts. Those reporting odds ratio or other risk assessments were not included. Finally, the investigators calculated pooled hazard ratios (HRs) in random-effects meta-analyses.

In six studies involving a total of 181,709 participants, the pooled analysis revealed that individuals with a more optimistic mindset had as much as 13-percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 0.87, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.82‒0.92).

In addition, pooled analysis of seven studies that included a total of 201,210 participants revealed a lower risk of CVD (HR, 0.59, 95 percent CI, 0.37‒0.93) and stroke (HR, 0.57, 95 percent CI, 0.07‒4.56) among optimistic individuals.

“These results suggest an important relationship between psychological health and CVD that may serve as an area for intervention by clinicians,” the authors said.

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