Bottom Line: Optimism was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular events and less risk of overall death in this observational study. The study, called a systematic review and meta-analysis, combined results from 15 studies (10 studies reported data on cardiovascular events and nine reported data on all-cause mortality) with nearly 230,000 participants and an average follow-up of nearly 14 years. Limitations of the study include wide variation in ages of the participants; the inability to account for individual mitigating factors such as smoking, diabetes and hypertension; and a study design that doesn't permit causal inferences to be made. Future studies should examine what might explain this association, as well as investigate the potential benefits of interventions that could promote optimism and reduce pessimism.
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Authors: Alan Rozanski, M.D., Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, New York, and coauthors
Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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