Cardiovascular disease: Psychological, social, and behavioral influences: Introduction to the special issue.

Although deaths due to cardiovascular diseases have declined significantly since the 1970s, they remain the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. A large number of cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle, are modifiable. Psychologists and other behavioral scientists and practitioners are engaged in not only understanding the mechanistic links between behaviors and cardiovascular health but also developing effective interventions for improving health. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight some of the more innovative psychological research in cardiovascular health promotion, disease prevention, and management. Articles included in this issue focus on 2 primary areas. First, cutting-edge research on the current state of knowledge of modifiable health behaviors and their impact on cardiovascular health include articles on e-cigarette use as a putative risk factor, psychological factors involved in adherence to medications, the role of sleep in cardiovascular health, and innovative approaches to enhancing the treatment and recovery of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Second, outstanding research identifying the mechanisms by which psychological factors such as stress, depression, and anxiety impact cardiovascular disease include an overview of the current state of science examining psychological comorbidities that can accompany cardiovascular disease and influence outcomes, discussion of the neurocognitive processes that connect stress appraisal with biological functioning and diseases processes, and the role of genetics on behavioral interventions and clinical decision-making in the context of behavioral weight loss treatments. Our goal with these innovative articles is to stimulate additional advances in cardiovascular behavioral medicine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)