Positive Cardiovascular Health: A Timely Convergence

Darwin R. Labarthe*, Laura D. Kubzansky, Julia K. Boehm, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Jarett D. Berry, Martin E.P. Seligman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Two concepts, positive health and cardiovascular health, have emerged recently from the respective fields of positive psychology and preventive cardiology. These parallel constructs are converging to foster positive cardiovascular health and a growing collaboration between psychologists and cardiovascular scientists to achieve significant improvements in both individual and population cardiovascular health. We explore these 2 concepts and note close similarities in the measures that define them, the health states that they aim to produce, and their intended long-term clinical and public health outcomes. We especially examine subjective health assets, such as optimism, that are a core focus of positive psychology, but have largely been neglected in preventive cardiology. We identify research to date on positive cardiovascular health, discuss its strengths and limitations thus far, and outline directions for further engagement of cardiovascular scientists with colleagues in positive psychology to advance this new field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-867
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 23 2016


  • positive health
  • positive psychology
  • preventive cardiology
  • primordial prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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