Social engagement and chronic disease risk behaviors: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sandra E. Echeverría, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective: Although engagement in social networks is important to health, multiple different dimensions exist. This study identifies which dimensions are associated with chronic disease risk behaviors. Methods: Cross-sectional data on social support, loneliness, and neighborhood social cohesion from 5381 participants, aged 45–84 from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis was used. Results: After adjusting for individual characteristics and all social engagement variables, social support was associated with lower smoking prevalence (PR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.82, 0.94), higher probability of having quit (PR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.06) and a slightly higher probability of achieving physical activity recommendations (PR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.06). Neighborhood social cohesion was associated with very slightly higher probability of achieving recommended (PR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.05) or any regular (PR = 1.0, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.04) physical activity, and a higher probability of consuming at least five daily fruit and vegetable servings (PR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.09). Conclusions: Both social support and neighborhood social cohesion, a less commonly considered aspect of social engagement, appear to be important for chronic disease prevention interventions and likely act via separate pathways.

Additional Information

Preventive Medicine 2015 Feb;71:61-6.
Language: English
Date: 2015
Social engagement, Social support, Neighborhood social cohesion, Physical activity, Smoking

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