The underlying mechanisms by which Post-Traumatic Growth is associated with cardiovascular health in male UK military personnel: The ADVANCE cohort study

Daniel Dyball*, Alexander N. Bennett, Susie Schofield, Paul Cullinan, Christopher J. Boos, Anthony M.J. Bull, Sharon A.M. Stevelink, Nicola T. Fear

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is associated with good cardiovascular health, but the mechanisms of this are poorly understood. This cross-sectional analysis assessed whether factors of PTG (Appreciation of Life (AOL), New Possibilities (NP), Personal Strength (PS), Relating to Others (RTO) and Spiritual Change (SC)) are associated with cardiovascular health in a cohort of 1006 male UK military personnel (median age 34). The findings suggest AOL, PS and RTO are associated with better cardiovascular health through cardiometabolic effects (lower levels of triglycerides, and total cholesterol) and haemodynamic functioning (lower diastolic blood pressure), but not inflammation. However, NP and SC were associated with poorer cardiovascular health through cardiometabolic effects (lower levels of high-density lipoproteins and higher levels of total cholesterol) and AOL had a non-linear association with low-density lipoproteins. These findings suggest that the relationship between PTG and cardiovascular functioning is complex and in need of further scrutiny.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • ADVANCE cohort study
  • Afghanistan
  • heart disease risk factors
  • military personnel
  • posttraumatic growth
  • psychological

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