Spouse behavior and coronary heart disease in men: Prospective results from the framingham heart study: II. Modification of risk in type a husbands according to the social and psychological status of their wives

Elaine D. Eaker, Suzanne G. Haynes, Manning Feinleib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eaker, E. D. (Epidemiology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20205), S. G. Haynes and M. Feinleib. Spouse behavior and coronary heart disease in men: Prospective results from the Framingham Heart Study. II. Modification of risk in Type A husbands according to the social and psychological status of their wives. Am J Epidemiol 1983; 118: 23-41.Analyses of spouse data from the Framingham Heart Study Indicated that the risk of developing coronary heart disease among Type A men, compared with Type B men, was modified by the behavior or social status of their wives. Between 1965 and 1967, 269 spouse pairs, In which the husbands were 45-64 years of age, were administered an extensive psychosocial questionnaire. These pairs were followed over a 10-year period for the development of heart disease. When Type A and Type B men were stratified by the social and personality characteristics of their wives, It was found that the differential rate of heart disease between Type A and Type B men was present only in situations where the wives' characteristics might be deemed stressful. Type A husbands were 2.5 times as likely to develop coronary heart disease as Type B husbands if married to women with 13 or more years of education, and had 3.5 times the coronary risk of Type B husbands if married to a woman employed outside the home. When spouses were stratified by behavior type, the highest rates of coronary heart disease were among Type A men married to Type B wives (25%). This rate was over three times the rate among Type B men married to Type B wives (7.8%). When tests for interaction between the behavior type of husbands and characteristics of wives were calculated, significant effects were found among blue-collar men on all variables except wives' educational level. This indicates that Type A men in white-collar occupations are at higher risk of heart disease regardless of wives' characteristics; whereas, the effect of behavior type among men in blue-collar occupations was Interrelated with and modified by wives' characteristics. These results were apparent regardless of the husbands' standard coronary risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume118
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Marriage
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Stress, psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Epidemiology

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