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Psychol Aging. 2005 Sep;20(3):476-85.

Cardiovascular intraindividual variability in later life: the influence of social connectedness and positive emotions.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. aong@nd.edu


Healthy normotensive men and women (N=33) underwent a 60-day diary assessment of emotions and cardiovascular functioning. Individual differences in social connectedness and mood were measured in questionnaires, and positive emotions, negative emotions, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were assessed daily for 60 consecutive days. Results confirmed that the cardiovascular undoing effect of positive emotions is evident primarily in the context of negative emotional arousal. The daily associations between positive emotions and cardiovascular outcomes were linked to individual differences in social connectedness. Controlling for individual differences in mood levels, multilevel regression analyses showed that social connectedness predicted extended positive emotion, diminished SBP and DBP reactivity, and more rapid SBP recovery from daily negative emotional states.

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