In a review paper just published by researchers at Chapman University, findings showed parallels between the fields of positive psychology and cardiology. Together, new concepts in these fields foster a novel area of study called positive cardiovascular health.

“While it may seem intuitive to focus both on healthy psychological function and healthy cardiovascular function,” says
Julia Boehm
, Ph.D., “these are relatively new fields and collaborative work between the two is rare. Historically, researchers in both psychology and cardiology have studied ways to fix problems like depression or heart attacks. Now we are seeing research in both fields emphasizing the maintenance of healthy functioning. Ultimately, shifting the focus away from deteriorating health towards positive definitions of health may improve overall cardiovascular health.”


Dr. Julia Boehm

“The urgent need to reduce the high cost and burdens of cardiovascular conditions, including quality of life and lost years of life, suggest the value and promise of synthesizing these fields to create a new model of positive cardiovascular health,” Dr. Boehm said.

This new field will provide fresh perspective on how to achieve the goals of promoting, preserving, and restoring cardiovascular health at both the individual and population levels, thereby reducing the burdens of cardiovascular-related disability, deaths, social disparities, and costs.

More research is suggested to examine whether the current state of the science supports interventions to enhance psychological functioning, which may in turn improve cardiovascular health and reduce heart attacks, stroke, and mortality.

The paper, called
Positive Cardiovascular Health
, was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Authors were: Dr. Julia Boehm of Chapman University, Darwin Labarthe, MD, MPH, Ph.D., Laura D., Kubzansky, Ph.D., MPH, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, Jarett D. Berry, MD, MS, and Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 155th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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