Optimism, Happiness as Teen Tied to Cardiometabolic Health Maintenance

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Adolescents with greater number of psychological assets, such as self-esteem and feeling loved, more likely to have cardiometabolic health maintenance later in life

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Adolescent psychological assets — including optimism, happiness, self-esteem, belongingness, and feeling loved — contribute to cardiometabolic health (CMH) maintenance later in life, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Farah Qureshi, Sc.D., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether psychological assets help adolescents sustain CMH in adulthood using data from 3,478 individuals in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Data on five psychological assets (optimism, happiness, self-esteem, belongingness, and feeling loved) in wave 1 (1994 to 1995) were used to create a composite asset index.

Participants with healthy levels of six or more of seven clinically assessed biomarkers at waves 4 (2008) and 5 (2016 to 2018) were classified as having CMH maintenance over time. CMH maintenance had a prevalence of 12 percent. The researchers observed an association between having more psychological assets and better health in adulthood (odds ratio, 1.12; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.25). Substantive associations were only seen among Black participants in subgroup analyses (odds ratio, 1.35; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.82). Some evidence indicated that racial and ethnic disparities in CMH maintenance may be less pronounced among those with more assets.

“These findings provide preliminary evidence that psychological assets may be an underappreciated source of resilience for youth from minoritized racial and ethnic groups,” the authors write.

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