Psychological hardiness predicts cardiovascular health
Psychology, Health & Medicine. 2015 Dec 11:1-7. [Epub ahead of print] | 2015
Many, but not all people experience diminished health, performance and well-being as a function of exposure to stress. However, the underlying neurophysiological processes which characterize hardy or resilient people are not well understood. This study examines psychological hardiness and several indicators of cardiovascular health, including body mass index (BMI) and blood cholesterol markers in a sample of 338 middle-aged adults enrolled in a national security education program. Hierarchical regression analyses reveal that after controlling for the influence of age and sex, high hardiness is related to higher HDL - high density lipoprotein and less body fat (BMI). Lower hardiness is associated with greater total cholesterol to HDL ratio, a cardiovascular disease risk factor. These results suggest that psychological hardiness confers resilience in part through an influence on cholesterol production and metabolism.