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J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2008 Sep;15(3):204-13. doi: 10.1007/s10880-008-9117-8. Epub 2008 May 24.

Socioeconomic differences in psychosocial factors contributing to coronary heart disease: a review.

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  • 1Department of Educational and Health Psychology, University of PJ Safarik, Faculty of Arts, Moyzesova 16, Kosice, Slovakia. zuzana.skodova@upjs.sk

Abstract

Psychosocial factors have been shown to play an important role in the aetiology of coronary heart disease (CHD). A strong association between CHD and socioeconomic status (lower-level education, poor financial situation) has also been well established. Socioeconomic differences may thus also have an effect on psychosocial risk factors associated with CHD, and socioeconomic disadvantage may negatively affect the later prognosis and quality of life of cardiac patients. The aim of this study was to review the available evidence on socioeconomic differences in psychosocial factors which specifically contribute to CHD. A computer-aided search of the Medline and PsycINFO databases resulted in 301 articles in English published between 1994 and 2007. A comprehensive screening process identified 12 empirical studies which described the socioeconomic differences in CHD risk factors. A review of these studies showed that socioeconomic status (educational grade, occupation or income) was adversely associated with psychosocial factors linked to CHD. This association was evident in the case of hostility and depression. Available studies also showed a similar trend with respect to social support, perception of health and lack of optimism. Less consistent were the results related to anger and perceived stress levels. Socioeconomic disadvantage seems to be an important element influencing the psychosocial factors related to CHD, thus, a more comprehensive clarification of associations between these factors might be useful. More studies are needed, focused not only on well-known risk factors such as depression and hostility, but also on some lesser known psychosocial factors such as Type D and vital exhaustion and their role in CHD.

PMID:
19104965
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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