Neuroendocrine and Inflammatory Factors Associated with Positive Affect in Healthy Men and Women The Whitehall II Study

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 01/2008; 167(1):96-102. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwm252
Source: PubMed


Positive affective states are associated with favorable health outcomes, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The authors assessed associations between positive affect, cortisol sampled over the day, and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6) among 2,873 healthy members of the Whitehall II study. Data for this study were collected in 2002-2004 in London, United Kingdom. Saliva free cortisol was assessed on waking, 30 minutes later, and four times over the day and evening. Positive affect was indexed by aggregating ecological momentary assessments of positive mood over the day. Salivary cortisol averaged over the day was inversely associated with positive affect after controlling for age, gender, income, ethnicity, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, smoking, paid employment, time of waking in the morning, and depression (p = 0.003). There was no association with cortisol responses to waking. The adjusted odds of C-reactive protein >/=3.00 mg/liter was 1.89 (95% confidence interval: 1.08, 3.31) in low- compared with high-positive-affect women, and plasma interleukin-6 was also inversely related to positive affect in women (p = 0.016). Neither inflammatory marker was related to positive affect in men. These results confirm findings from smaller studies relating cortisol with positive affect while suggesting that in women, positive affect is associated with reduced levels of inflammatory markers.

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    • "Although the associations between negative emotions and physiological dysregulation are well-documented, the links between positive psychological factors and inflammation have received less attention. Emerging evidence suggests that indicators of well-being—such as positive affect, purpose in life, and positive social relations—are associated with lower inflammation (Brouwers et al., 2013; Deverts et al., 2010; Friedman and Ryff, 2012; Friedman et al., 2005, 2007; Prather et al., 2007; Steptoe et al., 2008; Von Känel et al., 2012) and less inflammatory reactivity during acute stress tasks (Aschbacher et al., 2012; Steptoe et al., Contents lists available at ScienceDirect "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Inflammation is implicated in the development of chronic diseases and increases the risk of mortality. People who experience more daily stressors than others have higher levels of inflammation, but it is unknown whether daily positive events are linked to inflammation. Objective To examine the association of daily positive events with 3 inflammatory markers, interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen. Method A cross-sectional sample of 969 adults aged 35-86 from the Midlife in the United States Study completed telephone interviews for 8 consecutive evenings. Participants reported positive experiences that occurred over the past 24 hours. Blood samples were obtained at a separate clinic visit and later assayed for inflammatory markers. Regression analyses evaluated the frequency of daily positive events (defined as the percent of study days with at least 1 positive event) as a predictor of each inflammatory marker. Covariates included information on demographics, physical health, depressive symptoms, dispositional and behavioral factors, and daily positive and negative affect. Results On average, participants experienced positive events on 73% of days (SD = 27%). The frequency of daily positive events was associated with lower IL-6 (p < 0.001) and CRP (p = 0.02) in the overall sample, and lower fibrinogen among women (p = 0.01). The association remained for IL-6 in the fully adjusted model, but was no longer significant for CRP and fibrinogen after controlling for household income and race. Effects were more pronounced for participants in the lowest quartile of positive event frequency than for those in the top 3 quartiles, suggesting that lack of positivity in daily life may be particularly consequential for inflammation. Furthermore, interpersonal positive events were more predictive of lower IL-6 overall and lower fibrinogen in women than non-interpersonal positive events. Conclusion Daily positive events may serve a protective role against inflammation.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 08/2014; 43. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2014.07.015 · 5.89 Impact Factor
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    • "In the third model (Model 3), BMI, exercise, smoking and educational level were added to the first model, and in the fourth model (Model 4) depressive symptoms were added to Model 1 by using the continuous CES-D scores. The choice of covariates was based on theoretical evidence of possible confounders of inflammation (BNP: Consoli et al., 2012; diabetes: Calle and Fernandez, 2012; educational level: Clark et al., 2012; kidney failure: Colombo et al., 2011; excersice, smoking: Duivis et al., 2011; aspirin use: Ikonomidis et al., 1999: BMI: Spies et al., 2009; age, gender: Steptoe et al., 2008; statin use: Zhang et al., 2010) Positive affect (baseline) and other covariates were entered into the model as fixed effects to examine whether they are significantly associated with the (variance of) the averaged inflammatory biomarkers over time. No post hoc corrections were made for multiple comparisons due to the high probability of finding small effect sizes, the moderate to high correlation between the cytokines, and the explorative nature of the analyses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In cardiac patients positive affect has found to be associated with improved clinical outcomes, with reduced inflammation being one of the potential mechanisms responsible. Methods: Positive affect was assessed using The Global Mood Scale (GMS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in patient with chronic heart failure (N=210; 67 ± 9 years, 79% men). Markers of inflammation (TNFα, sTNFr1, sTNFr2, IL-6 and CRP) were measured and averaged at three consecutive time points. Results: The positive affect dimensions of the GMS and PANAS were significantly associated with lower averaged levels of sTNFr2, TNFα and IL-6 (p<.1), even after adjustment for clinical and lifestyle confounders. Positive affect of the HADS was significantly associated with lower averaged levels of hsCRP (p<.1), but was no longer significant after correction for lifestyle confounders and depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Positive affect is associated with reduced inflammation in patients with heart failure.
    Biological psychology 10/2012; 92(2). DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.10.002 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    • "The mechanisms by which positive affect influences health have been hypothesized to occur though neuroendocrine, inflammatory and immune mediators [122]. Studies have found that people in positive affect states have lower levels of salivary cortisol [122, 123], decreased inflammatory mediators (C-reactive protein [124] and IL-6 [123, 124]) and enhanced heart rate variability [125]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity is a seemingly simple and clinically potent method to decrease morbidity and mortality in people with coronary heart disease (CHD). Nonetheless, long-term maintenance of physical activity remains a frustratingly elusive goal for patients and practitioners alike. In this paper, we posit that among older adults with CHD, recidivism after the initiation of physical activity reflects maladaptive neuroplasticity of malleable neural networks, and people will revert back to learned and habitual physical inactivity patterns, particularly in the setting of stress or depression. We hypothesize that behavioral interventions that successfully promote physical activity may also enhance adaptive neuroplasticity and play a key role in the maintenance of physical activity through the development of new neuronal pathways that enhance functional ability in older adults. Conversely, without such adaptive neuroplastic changes, ingrained maladaptive neuroplasticity will prevail and long-term maintenance of physical activity will fail. In this paper we will: (1) describe the enormous potential for neuroplasticity in older adults; (2) review stress and depression as examples of maladaptive neuroplasticity; (3) describe an example of adaptive neuroplasticity achieved with a behavioral intervention that induced positive affect in people with CHD; and (4) discuss implications for future work in bench to bedside translational research.
    Neural Plasticity 10/2012; 2012:516364. DOI:10.1155/2012/516364 · 3.58 Impact Factor
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