Imke Janssen, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush Medical College. In this video, she speaks about Psychosocial Well‐Being and Progression of Coronary Artery Calcification in Midlife Women.
Preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a public health concern. Physical activity, a healthy diet, and stopping smoking are all important preventative factors, although aspects of psychosocial well-being have generally been researched separately, with inconsistent results. The purpose of this study was to examine if a combination of psychological well-being indices was associated with slower coronary artery calcium development (CAC).
Methodology and Findings
The SWAN (Research of Women's Health Across the Nation) auxiliary Heart Study included 312 women (mean age 50.8) who were all free of clinical CVD at the start of the study. Six validated psychosocial questionnaires measuring optimism, vitality, life engagement, life satisfaction, multitasking, and positive affect were integrated to create a composite psychosocial well-being score. Subclinical CAC development was characterized as an increase of 10 Agatston units over 2.3 years using electron beam tomography. The effect of happiness on CAC progression was studied using relative risk (RR) regression models that were controlled for sociodemographic characteristics, depression, healthy lifestyle habits, and traditional CVD risk factors. At the outset, 42.9 percent of participants had a CAC score of >0, and 17.6 percent progressed. Well-being was associated with lower progression after controlling for potential confounders, depression, and health practices (RR, 0.909; 95 percent CI, 0.8430.979; P=0.012). Further adjustment for conventional CVD risk factors reduced the total group's risk (RR, 0.943; 95 percent CI, 0.8711.020; P=0.142), but the 134 women with baseline CAC>0 remained significant (RR, 0.921; 95 percent CI, 0.8520.995; P=0.037).
Incorporating the mental side of the mindheartbody continuum may result in the best early CVD prevention in women.