Emotional vitality and incident coronary heart disease: benefits of healthy psychological functioning.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Dec;64(12):1393-401.

Kubzansky LD, Thurston RC
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The potentially toxic effects of psychopathology and poorly regulated emotion on physical health have long been considered, but less work has addressed whether healthy psychological functioning may also benefit physical health. Emotional vitality--characterized by a sense of energy, positive well-being, and effective emotion regulation--has been hypothesized to reduce risk of heart disease, but no studies have examined this relationship. At the baseline interview (1971-1975), participants completed the General Well-being Schedule from which we derived a measure of emotional vitality. Compared with individuals with low levels, those reporting high levels of emotional vitality had multivariate-adjusted relative risks of 0.81 (95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.94) for CHD. A dose-response relationship was evident (P < .001). Significant associations were also found for each individual emotional vitality component with CHD, but findings with the overall emotional vitality measure were more reliable. Further analyses suggested that one way in which emotional vitality may influence coronary health is via health behaviors. However, the effect remained significant after controlling for health behaviors and other potential confounders, including depressive symptoms or other psychological problems. Emotional vitality may protect against risk of CHD in men and women.