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Soc Sci Med. 2008 Mar;66(6):1310-21. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.039. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Hostility and anomie: links to preterm delivery subtypes and ambulatory blood pressure at mid-pregnancy.

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Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, B601 W. Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI, USA.


Underlying maternal vascular disease has been implicated as one of several pathways contributing to preterm delivery (PTD) and psychosocial factors such as hostility, anomie, effortful coping, and mastery may be associated with PTD by affecting maternal vascular health. Using data from the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health (POUCH) study, we included 2018 non-Hispanic White and 743 African American women from 52 clinics in five Michigan, USA communities. Women were interviewed at 15-27 weeks' gestation and followed to delivery. We found that relations between psychosocial factors and PTD subtypes (i.e. medically indicated, premature rupture of membranes, spontaneous labor) varied by race/ethnicity and socio-economic position (Medicaid insurance status). Among African American women not insured by Medicaid, anomie levels in mid-pregnancy were positively associated with medically indicated PTD after adjusting for maternal age and education. Among all women not insured by Medicaid, hostility levels were positively associated with spontaneous PTD after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, age, and education. Failure to detect links between psychosocial factors and PTD risk in poorer women may be due to their excess risk in multiple PTD pathways and/or a more complex web of contributing risk factors. In a subset of 395 women monitored for blood pressure, anomie scores were positively associated with systolic blood pressure and heart rate and hostility scores were positively associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and mean arterial pressure in models that included time, awake/asleep, race/ethnicity, and age as covariates. Further adjustment for body mass index and smoking attenuated the anomie-vascular relations but had little effect on the hostility-vascular relations. Overall this study of pregnant women provides some physiologic evidence to support findings linking levels of anomie and hostility with risk of PTD.

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