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Is loneliness a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in Indian adults aged 50 years and older?
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Loneliness has emerged as a psycho-social problem, particularly among older population in recent years. Many studies from different regions of India have shown considerable growth in the older population reporting feeling lonely. Recent attention to research demonstrating the association between loneliness and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has raised the profile, including in India, where CVD is one of the leading causes of death. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of loneliness and cardiovascular diseases among older adults aged 50 years and older in different demographic and socioeconomic groups, and explore the association between loneliness and CVDs.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the longitudinal Study on global AGEing and adult health in India in 2007, and included a total of 6,439 participants aged 50 years and older (3,241 men and 3,198 women). We used logistic regression analysis to assess the association between loneliness and CVDs, while controlling for confounding factors, such as age, gender, education, marital status, wealth, depressive symptoms, sleep, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use. All analyses were stratified by gender.

Results: Loneliness was more prevalent among women than men while prevalence of CVDs was higher in men than women. The regression analysis showed a positive association between loneliness and CVDs in both women and men. The univeriate analysis without adjusting for confounders showed that women had 58% higher odds of reporting CVDs (95% CI: 1.24 - 2.00 (p<0.001)) than women who did not report loneliness. The corresponding figure for men was 67% higher odds (95% CI: 1.34-2.08, p<0.001). In the adjusted analyses the association was attenuated, and loneliness was still a significant predictor of CVDs in women only (OR 1.37; 95% CI: 1.05 – 1.78, p<0.05).

Conclusions: The current study reveals that loneliness was strongly associated with CVDs in older women in India while this association was not observed in men. Some of the factors controlled for in the analysis, such as age, wealth, depressive symptoms, and sleep are also significantly associated with CVDs in men and women while alcohol was significant only among men. Further studies using mediation analyses will allow better understanding about the true effects and mechanisms of these factors in influencing CVDs among older people. This information can help in developing psychosocial-related CVD prevention strategies, especially for women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 39
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2018:39
Keywords [en]
loneliness, CVDs, older people, India, regression analysis.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152750OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152750DiVA, id: diva2:1257602
External cooperation
WHO SAGE - Paul Kowal
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health
Presentation
2018-05-23, Caring Science building, Room B101, Umeå University, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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