Control Beliefs and Risk for Death, Stroke and Myocardial Infarction in Middle-aged and Older Adults: An Observational Study.


Journal Article

Chronic health conditions account for the largest proportion of illness-related mortality and morbidity as well as most of healthcare spending in the USA. Control beliefs may be important for outcomes in individuals with chronic illness.To determine whether control beliefs are associated with the risk for death, incident stroke and incident myocardial infarction (MI), particularly for individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) and/or hypertension.Retrospective cohort study.A total of 5,662 respondents to the Health and Retirement Study with baseline health, demographic and psychological data in 2006, with no history of previous stroke or MI.Perceived global control, measured as two dimensions--"constraints" and "mastery"--and health-specific control were self-reported. Event-free survival was measured in years, where "event" was the composite of death, incident stroke and MI. Year of stroke or MI was self-reported; year of death was obtained from respondents' family.Mean baseline age was 66.2 years; 994 (16.7%) had DM and 3,023 (53.4%) hypertension. Overall, 173 (3.1%) suffered incident strokes, 129 (2.3%) had incident MI, and 465 (8.2%) died. There were no significant interactions between control beliefs and baseline DM or hypertension in predicting event-free survival. Elevated adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were associated with DM (1.33, 95 % CI 1.07-1.67), hypertension (1.31, 95% CI 1.07-1.61) and perceived constraints in the third (1.55, 95% CI 1.12-2.15) and fourth quartiles (1.61, 95% CI 1.14-2.26). Health-specific control scores in the third (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.59-1.03) and fourth quartiles (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.53-0.92) were protective, but only the latter category had a statistically significant decreased risk. Combined high perceived constraints and low health-specific control had the highest risk (HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.41-2.64).Control beliefs were not associated with differential risk for those with DM and/or hypertension, but they predicted significant differences in event-free survival for the general cohort.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Duan-Porter, W; Hastings, SN; Neelon, B; Van Houtven, CH

Published Date

  • August 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1156 - 1163

PubMed ID

  • 25792069

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25792069

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1525-1497

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0884-8734

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11606-015-3275-9


  • eng