The Differential Impact of Subjective and Objective Aspects of Social Engagement on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Yumiko Kamiya, Trinity College Dublin
Brendan Whelan, Trinity College Dublin
Virpi Timonen, Trinity College Dublin
Rosanne Kenny, Trinity College Dublin

This paper provides new insights into the impact of objective and subjective components of social engagement on CVD risk factors. We hypothesized that objective (social participation and social ties) and subjective (emotional support) aspects of social engagement are independently associated with objective measures of CV risk. Data from the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA) were analyzed. The effects of social participation, social ties and emotional support on hypertension, HDL, HBA1c, hsCPR, and Fibrinogen were estimated by logistic regression controlling for age, sex, education, depression, cardiovascular disease, other chronic diseases, BMI and smoking. Regression analysis shows that social participation is a consistent predictor of low risk for all five risk factors, even after adjusting for a wide range of covariates. Social ties are associated with lower risk for hypertension. Emotional support provided by spouse is associated with three of the cardiovascular risk factors (serum HDL, hypertension and HbA1c).

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Presented in Session 50: Social Differentials in Biological Parameters