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Social Engagement and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: Results of a Prospective Population-Based Study of Older Men

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sheena Ramsay


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Purpose: To examine the prospective relation of social engagement with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, taking into account behavioral factors (smoking, physical activity, body weight, and alcohol consumption), socioeconomic factors, and presence of comorbidity and disability. Methods: A socioeconomically representative cohort of 5925 men aged 52-74 years from 24 British towns was followed up from 1992-2006. A scale from 0-9 was used based on questions reflecting the frequency and extent of social engagement in 1992. Results: CVD mortality risk decreased with increasing social engagement score-age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for those with the highest social engagement score of 8-9 was 0.42 (95% confidence interval [95%CI], 0.32-0.53) compared to those with the lowest scores of 0-3 (p for trend ≤ 0.0001). Further adjustment for behavioral factors (smoking, alcohol, physical activity, and body weight), disability, comorbidity, and socioeconomic factors reduced the strength of this association, although strong evidence of an association remained: HR 0.70 (95%CI, 0.53-0.93) for highest versus lowest social engagement scores (p for trend = 0.0004). Although the association appeared somewhat stronger in subjects with preexisting CVD (HR 0.59 for highest vs. lowest social engagement scores) than in those without (HR 0.79), there was no evidence of an interaction between social engagement and preexisting CVD (p = 0.61). Conclusions: In our study of older men, social engagement appeared to have a modest protective effect on CVD mortality independent of behavioral factors, socioeconomic conditions, disease, and disability. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ramsay S, Ebrahim S, Whincup P, Papacosta O, Morris R, Lennon L, Wannamethee SG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of Epidemiology

Year: 2008

Volume: 18

Issue: 6

Pages: 476-483

Print publication date: 01/06/2008

Online publication date: 04/03/2008

ISSN (print): 1047-2797

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2585

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2007.12.007

PubMed id: 18291672


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