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  Can flow proneness be protective against mental and cardiovascular health problems? A genetically informed prospective cohort study

Gaston, E., Ullén, F., Wesseldijk, L. W., & Mosing, M. A. (2024). Can flow proneness be protective against mental and cardiovascular health problems? A genetically informed prospective cohort study. Translational Psychiatry, 14: 144. doi:10.1038/s41398-024-02855-6.

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

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 Creators:
Gaston, Emma1, Author
Ullén, Fredrik2, 3, Author                 
Wesseldijk, Laura Wendelmoet1, 2, 3, 4, Author                 
Mosing, Miriam A.1, 2, 3, 5, Author                 
Affiliations:
1Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society, ou_3351901              
3Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Bipolar disorder, Depression, Diagnostic markers, Human behaviour, Schizophrenia
 Abstract: Flow is a phenomenon where one experiences optimal challenge, marked by an intense, effortless, and rewarding concentration on a task. Past research shows that flow proneness is associated with good mental and cardiovascular health. However, this research has been primarily cross-sectional, based on self-report data, and has not controlled for potential confounding effects of neuroticism. In a large, longitudinal twin sample (N = 9361), we used nationwide patient registry data to test whether flow proneness predicted registry-based diagnoses of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, stress-related disorders, or cardiovascular diseases. We used survival analyses taking time to diagnosis into account to test if (a) there is a relationship between flow proneness and health diagnoses over time, (b) neuroticism confounds this relationship, and (c) the relationship remains present within discordant monozygotic twin pairs (N = 952), thereby controlling for genetic and shared environmental confounding. Individuals with higher flow proneness had a decreased risk of receiving diagnoses for depression (16%; CI [14%, 18%]), anxiety (16%; CI [13%, 18%]), schizophrenia (15%; CI [4%, 25%]), bipolar (12%; CI [6%, 18%]), stress-related (9%; CI [9%, 12%]), and cardiovascular disorders (4%; CI [1%, 8%]). When controlling for neuroticism, higher flow proneness still decreased the risk of depression (6%; CI [3%, 9%]) and anxiety diagnoses (5%; CI [1%, 8%]). Monozygotic twins who experienced more flow than their co-twin had a lower risk for depression (16%; CI [5%, 26%]) and anxiety (13%; CI [1%, 24%]), though only the association with depression remained significant when also controlling for neuroticism (13%; CI [1%, 24%]). Findings are in line with a causal protective role of flow experiences on depression and potentially anxiety and highlight that neuroticism and familial factors are notable confounding factors in observed associations between flow proneness and health outcomes.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2024-02-232022-04-282024-02-262024-03-13
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41398-024-02855-6
 Degree: -

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Title: Translational Psychiatry
  Abbreviation : Transl Psychiatry
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Nature Pub. Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 Sequence Number: 144 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2158-3188
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2158-3188