Psychosocial Factors and Behaviors in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • There are limited reports on the association of psychosocial factors with unhealthy behaviors, which are key mediators in the psychosocial-cardiovascular disease pathway. The Jackson Heart Study was used to examine the associations of multiple psychosocial factors with behaviors among African Americans.The Jackson Heart Study is a prospective, cohort study of cardiovascular disease among African Americans recruited from the Jackson, MS, metropolitan area between 2000 and 2004. Between 2015 and 2016, multivariable regression was used to analyze the cross-sectional associations of baseline negative affect (cynicism, anger-in, anger-out, and depressive symptoms) and stressors (global stress, Weekly Stress Inventory-event, Weekly Stress Inventory-impact, and major life events) with the odds of current smoking and mean differences in dietary fat intake, physical activity, and hours of sleep.Men were more likely to smoke than women (p<0.001) and had higher physical activity scores (p<0.001). Women reported more hours of sleep (p=0.001). In fully adjusted models, each negative affect and stress measure was significantly associated with an increased odds of current smoking. For example, the odds of smoking increased by 14% for each 1-SD increase in cynical distrust score (OR=1.14, 95% CI=1.01, 1.27) in the fully adjusted model. Further, each negative affect and stress measure (except anger-out) was significantly associated with fewer hours of sleep in fully adjusted models.Using a large sample of African Americans, this study found that multiple psychosocial risk factors were associated with unhealthy behaviors that are prevalent among this population.Copyright © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 2017