The Association Between Emotional Well Being and Future Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Older Adults

Our objective was to examine the extent that positive emotion predicts future risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Prior investigations show depression as a predictor of MI, however, there is little available information on linkages between positive emotion and Ml. To obtain a more complete picture of the influence of emotion, the combined and independent effects of positive and negative emotion on future risk of MI were analyzed. Data were obtained from the New Haven Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly-a population-based longitudinal study of persons aged 65 years or older. For 2,411 elderly subjects free of MI at baseline, Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the relative risk (RR) of future MI over a three-year follow-up period by Center for Epidemiological Studies with depression scale scores and positive and negative affect scores, adjusting for potential confounding variables. Increasing positive affect scores were significantly associated with a decreased risk of MI. Each unit increase in positive affect score was associated with a 10% decreased risk of MI (RR= 1.10; 95% CI, 0.83-0.97; P=.001) after adjusting for relevant risk factors. The results demonstrate that positive emotion is predictive of future MI. Continued research on positive emotion and health outcomes may challenge and expand our current understanding of, and interest in mind-body relationships.

Positive Emotion, Older Adults, MI

Medical Perspectives on Aging, Health, Wellness

Poster Session

  • Glenn Ostir
    • Professor and DIrector, Gerontology, University of Georgia, United States United States