Abstract P125: The Association of Perceived Unfair Treatment and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Background Unfair treatment is a form of discrimination and a psychological stressor that might have untoward health effects. Psychological stress is partly associated with various health outcomes through its role in stimulating inflammation. Because chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has both psychosocial and inflammatory triggers, we evaluated the relationship between unfair treatment and COPD, a topic with almost non-existent data.
Methods and Results Among 28,259 women participating in the Women’s Health Study, we used logistic regression to assess the cross-sectional association between unfair treatment and COPD. Perceived unfair treatment was evaluated by 4 questions that assessed whether participants ever felt that they were unfairly denied: 1) a job 2) a promotion 3) housing or 4) were unfairly stopped by the police in their lifetime [responses: yes/no]. Scores ranged from 0-4 based on the number of “yes” responses per participant; [(category 1: score =0 (referent); category 2: score =1; category 3: score =2+)]. The mean participant age was 54.2+ 6.6 years with 13.9% of the women reporting experiencing unfair treatment. The prevalence of COPD among all WHS participants within the sample population was 1.61%. Among women who reported unfair treatment, the prevalence of COPD was 16.4%. Increasing reports of unfair treatment were associated with higher odds of COPD in age and race/ethnicity adjusted models (OR: 1.00, 1.09, 1.93; ptrend=0.02), in age, race/ethnicity, education, and income adjusted models (OR: 1.00, 1.08, 1.73; ptrend=0.07), and in fully adjusted models (OR: 1.00, 1.07, 1.76; ptrend= 0.08). Pre-specified subgroup analyses based on educational status were not statistically significant.
Conclusion Reports of perceived unfair treatment were associated with an almost 2-fold increase in the prevalence of COPD among women in the WHS cohort. These data are hypothesis generating and warrant further study.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.