Control Beliefs and Risk for Death, Stroke and Myocardial Infarction in Middle-aged and Older Adults: An Observational Study.
BACKGROUND: 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. OBJECTIVE: 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. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: 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. MAIN MEASURES: 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. KEY RESULTS: 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). CONCLUSIONS: 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.
Duan-Porter, W; Hastings, SN; Neelon, B; Van Houtven, CH
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