Social support, social network size, social strain, stressful life events and CHD in women with type 2 diabetes – a cohort study based on the Women’s Health Initiative
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We studied associations between social support, social network size, social strain or stressful life events and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes.
Research Design and Methods
From the Women’s Health Initiative, 5,262 postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes at baseline were included. Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for demographics, depressive symptom, anthropometric variables, and lifestyle factors were used to examine associations between social factors and CHD.
A total of 672 cases of CHD were observed during an average 12.79 (SD 6.29) years of follow-up. There was a significant linear trend toward higher risk of CHD as number of stressful life events increased (p for trend=0.01; HR [95% CI] for the third and fourth quartiles compared with first quartile = 1.27 [1.03-1.56] and 1.30 [1.04-1.64]). Being married or in an intimate relationship was related to decreased risk of CHD [HR and 95% CI 0.82 (0.69-0.97)].
Among postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes, higher levels of stressful life events were associated with higher risk of CHD. Experience of stressful life events might be considered as a risk factor for CHD among women with type 2 diabetes.