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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2009 Jun;64(4):461-9. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbp041. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Prospective study of associations among positive emotion and functional status in older patients with coronary artery disease.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Box 2969, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


We examined associations between positive emotion (PE) and functional status (Duke Activity Status Inventory) in 948 coronary artery disease (CAD) patients (35.1% women; age M = 70.1 years, SD = 6.3). Emotion and function measures were gathered during hospitalization and annually for 3 years. We used random coefficient models to examine PE during hospitalization and follow-up, as a predictor of change in function. Analyses adjusted for baseline functional status, negative emotion, social support, marital status, and disease severity. Sex was examined as a moderator of effects. PE assessed during hospitalization was a significant predictor of change in function such that lower levels of PE were associated with accelerated decline in function. Lower levels of PE during follow-up were also related to increasing decline in function but only in men. Thus, our findings indicate that PE is associated with less decline in functional status following hospitalization for CAD.

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