Psychosocial risk factors for coronary disease in White, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean civil servants: the Whitehall II study


Hemingway, H; Whitty, CJ; Shipley, M; Stansfeld, MS; Brunner, E; Fuhrer, R; Marmot, M; (2001) Psychosocial risk factors for coronary disease in White, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean civil servants: the Whitehall II study. Ethnicity & disease, 11 (3). pp. 391-400. ISSN 1049-510X

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Psychosocial factors are associated with the etiology and prognosis of coronary heart disease (CHD) in White populations; however, previous studies have not examined the distribution of psychosocial factors in ethnic groups with coronary rates higher (South Asian) and lower (Afro-Caribbean) than those of Whites. STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine whether ethnic differences in psychosocial risk factors parallel those in CHD mortality. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: 20 civil service departments in London. PARTICIPANTS: 8973 White, 577 South Asian, and 360 Afro-Caribbean office-based civil servants, aged 35-55 years. OUTCOME MEASURES: Minor psychiatric morbidity (General Health Questionnaire), social supports (marital status, social networks, negative aspects of support, confiding/emotional support, social support at work), psychosocial work characteristics (job control, effort-reward imbalance), hostility levels and presence of Type A personality. RESULTS: South Asians, compared to Whites, had more depression, higher negative supports, less social support at work, less job control, more effort-reward imbalance and higher levels of hostility, when adjusting for age and sex. Afro-Caribbeans, compared to Whites, had lower minor psychiatric morbidity and lower Type A scores. The remaining psychosocial factors showed either no ethnic differences in distribution, or differences contrary to those predicted from coronary event rates. Adjustment for employment grade made little difference to these associations. CONCLUSION: Among South Asians, the majority of whom were Indian, the distribution of psychosocial factors was consistent with ethnic differences in coronary rates; the pattern for Afro-Caribbeans was less consistent. Further research is required to test the extent to which psychosocial factors predict coronary events within ethnic groups and to characterize better psychosocial measures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adult, Asia, Southeastern/ethnology, Cohort Studies, Confidence Intervals, Coronary Disease/epidemiology/ethnology/*psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & numerical data, Female, Hostility, Human, London/epidemiology, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risk Factors, Social Support, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S., Type A Personality, West Indies/ethnology, Adult, Asia, Southeastern, ethnology, Cohort Studies, Confidence Intervals, Coronary Disease, epidemiology, ethnology, psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, European Continental Ancestry Group, statistics & numerical data, Female, Hostility, Human, London, epidemiology, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risk Factors, Social Support, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S., Type A Personality, West Indies, ethnology
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 11572405
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/15583

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