Introduction. The relationship between positive psychological well-being (PPWB) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is inconsistent across different CVD outcomes and for different PPWB constructs, such as positive affect. In addition, the relationship between PPWB and CVD as a composite measure is rarely assessed. Objective. To assess whether positive affect is protective of incident CVD. Method. Positive affect was assessed in two cohorts between 1993 and 2001 in Rotterdam using relevant questions from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; in a sub-sample) in 6349 non-demented, CVD-free, consenting adults, aged 55 + years. Composite CVD was defined as stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease, which were continuously monitored through medical records until 1st April 2010. Results. There were 1480 (23.3%) first time CVD events during follow-up (11.9 +/- 2.8 SD years, 58,416 person-years). Positive affect was not associated with incident CVD (CES-D HR: 1.00 per point, 95% CI: 0.98-1.02; HADS HR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.92-1.05). Stratification by age or sex and assessment of separate CVD outcome did not change results. Conclusion. In this large, population-based study, there was no association between positive affect and twelve-year incident CVD in older adults who were free of diagnosed CVD at baseline. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.