Abstract 17851: Is Positive Psychological Well-being Associated with Physical Functioning in Older Adults? Results From the Chicago Healthy Aging Study (CHAS)
Background: There is mounting evidence linking positive psychological well-being to restorative health processes, i.e., positive health behaviors and biological functioning. However, very little is known about the relationship between positive affect and physical functioning or whether there is a potential mediational effect on this relationship (if any) via traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods: We analyzed in-person interview data collected from older adults ages 63-84 that participated in the Chicago Healthy Aging Study [CHAS] in 2007-10. Positive affect was captured using a subscale of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale that considered only positively worded items, with higher scores indicative of greater positive affect (see Table); tertiles were created with the following cutoffs <2 (low), ≥2 to <4 (medium), and ≥4 (high). Physical functioning for the upper and lower extremities considered the Short Physical Performance Battery and 2 levels of hand grip strength. Traditional risk factors consisted of blood pressure, serum cholesterol, body mass index, diabetes, and smoking status.
Results: We analyzed data from 1,247 individuals. Mean age was 71 years; and 26% female. A significant positive correlation was found between positive affect and all measures of physical functioning (all P-values < 0.05). In multivariate adjusted models (see Table), a graded association was evident such that higher mean scores for physical functioning were observed with increasing levels of positive affect (i.e., Short Physical Performance Battery [p-trend = 0.004] and 2 kg hand grip strength [p-trend = 0.034]). Inclusion of traditional risk factors did not significantly attenuate observed association between positive affect and physical functioning.
Conclusion: The current study offer preliminary evidence for an association between positive affect and physical functioning in older adults independent of cardiovascular risk factors.
Author Disclosures: R. Hernandez: None. T.T. Vu: None. K. Liu: None. M.L. Daviglus: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.