Association of Optimism with Cardiovascular Events and All-Cause Mortality: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Chayakrit Krittanawong, Neil Sagar Maitra, Hafeez Ul Hassan Virk, Sonya Fogg, Zhen Wang, Scott Kaplin, David Gritsch, Eric A. Storch, Philippe N. Tobler, Dennis S. Charney, Glenn N. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The effect of psychological health on cardiovascular disease is an underappreciated yet important area of study. Understanding the relationship between these two entities may allow for more comprehensive care of those with cardiovascular disease. The primary objective of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the relationship between optimism and risk of developing adverse events such as all-cause mortality or fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease in community-based populations. Method: A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted from inception through November 2021 for prospective studies evaluating optimism and adverse outcomes. Two reviewers independently selected prospective cohort studies that evaluated optimism and either all-cause mortality or cardiovascular disease and reported hazard ratios of these outcomes between optimistic and non-optimistic groups. Studies that reported odds ratio or other risk assessments were excluded. Pooled hazard ratios were calculated in random-effects meta-analyses. Results: Pooled analysis of six studies (n = 181,709) showed a pooled hazard ratio of 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-0.92) for all-cause mortality among those with more optimistic mindset. Analysis of seven studies (n = 201,210) showed a pooled hazard ratio of 0.59 (95% CI, 0.37-0.93) for cardiovascular disease and pooled hazard ratio of 0.57 (95% CI, 0.07-4.56) for stroke. Conclusions: In this pooled meta-analysis, optimism was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality and of cardiovascular disease. These results suggest an important relationship between psychological health and cardiovascular disease that may serve as an area for intervention by clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-863.e2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Optimism
  • Psychological health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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