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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


NITSCHE, María Pía et al. Positive psychosocial factors and cardiovascular health. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2014, vol.142, n.10, pp.1316-1323. ISSN 0034-9887.

Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely as the absence of disease. Thus, medical practice must not only deal with diagnosis and treatment of pathological conditions and solve physical ailments, but also promote a comprehensive wellbeing state -including the psychological domain- to achieve positive health. Therefore, it is necessary to scientifically identify the psychological and social determinants that contribute more effectively to prevent disease and achieve optimal health. This article reviews the most recent evidence showing the importance of positive psychological and social resources on cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality as well as health care costs worldwide. Evidence is summarized regarding the role of positive psychosocial factors as health promoters and protectors against cardiovascular risk, the possible mechanisms that explain this association, and the practical implications and future research arising from this perspective. The development of interdisciplinary research in this field, incorporating the area of psychological wellbeing, should help to generate and test new strategies aimed at more effective cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment.

Keywords : Cardiovascular diseases; Psychology; medical; Psychosocial factors.

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