Abstract 15740: Coping Styles and Blood Pressure in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study
Few investigators have examined the relationship between coping and blood pressure in African Americans despite the higher rate of psychological distress reported by and the lack of a clear rationale for the higher prevalence of hypertension in this population as compared to whites. Hypothesis: We assessed the hypothesis that the correlation between coping styles and blood pressure vary in African Americans.
METHODS: For this descriptive correlational study, we used secondary data from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), an epidemiological, observational study of African Americans residing in the Jackson, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area. Our sample (N=4,354, mean age= 54.7 years, 64.2% female) completed the Coping Strategies Short-Form (CSI-SF). The 16 item CSI-SF is comprised of two primary scales-engagement (i.e., confronting approaches) and disengagement (i.e., avoidance approaches) and four subscales-emotion-focused engagement, problem-focused engagement, emotion-focused disengagement, and problem-focused disengagement. Descriptive statistics were generated for CSI-SF scores and Pearson’s product-by moment correlation coefficient analysis was computed to assess the relationships between coping styles and blood pressure.
Results: Problem-focused disengagement was significantly correlated with systolic blood pressure SBP [r = 0.042, n = 4,174, p = .007] and negative correlations were found between diastolic blood pressure and emotion-focused engagement [r = -0.041, n = 4204, p = .007] in the total cohort. Coping style mean score comparisons showed JHS participants used engagement coping styles more than disengagement coping styles.
Discussion: This study revealed the potential influence of engagement and disengagement coping styles on blood pressure in the JHS. Different coping styles were associated with systolic versus diastolic blood pressure, suggesting that diverse coping approaches could help to improve blood pressure in African Americans. In conclusion, more research is needed to better understand the psychobiological underpinnings of coping and blood pressure and to enhance understanding of coping and improve cardiovascular health in African Americans and all racial/ethnic groups.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.