Women, employment status, and hypertension: Cross-sectional and prospective findings from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Kathryn M. Rose, Beth Newman, Herman A. Tyroler, Moyses Szklo, Donna Arnett, Narain Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study examined the cross-sectional and prospective associations between employment status and hypertension among middle-aged, African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) women participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. METHODS: Employed women and homemakers from the baseline examination (1987-89) were included in the cross-sectional study (n = 7351). Associations between employment and the incidence of hypertension ascertained at visit 2 (1990-92) were determined among those who at baseline, had low-normal blood pressure (not hypertensive and systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≤ 120 mm Hg systolic and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≤ 80 mm Hg (n = 3194). Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between employment status and hypertension by ethnicity, taking into account covariates. RESULTS: At baseline, employed women were less likely to be hypertensive (SBP ≥ 140 mm Hg or DBP ≥ 90 mm Hg or current use of antihypertensive drugs) than were homemakers (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 0.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.62-0.79), controlling for age, body mass index, and education. Among the subgroup who had low-normal blood pressure at baseline, employed women were less likely to develop hypertension during the three-year time period than were homemakers (odds ratio (OR) = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.44-1.05). The inverse association was stronger among AA (RR = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.16-0.88) than EA (OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.50-1.38) women. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the inverse association between hypertension and employment status is not due to a healthy worker effect, and that employment may confer protection against incident hypertension in women. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was supported in part by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Contracts N01-HC-55015, N01-HC-55016, N01-HC-55018, N01-HC-55019, N01-HC-55020, N01-HC-55021, and N01-HC-55022. The work was completed while the lead author was a post-doctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Training Program supported by National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute NRSA grant 5T32HL07055. The authors thank the staff at the ARIC centers: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—Phyllis Johnson, Marilyn Knowles, Catherine Paton; University of North Carolina, Forsyth County—Kay Burke, Wilhelmenia Cheeks, Revitha Cook, Shirley Cothern; University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson—Betty Warren, Dorothy Washnigton, Mattye Watson, Nancy Wilson; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis—Greg Feitl, Chris Hunkins, Ellie Justiniano, Laura Kemmis; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore—Joyce Chabot, Carol Christman, Dorrie Costa, Patricia Crowley; University of Texas Medical School, Houston—Valarie Stinson, Pam Pfile, Hogan Pham, Teri Trevino; The Methodist Hospital, Aterosclerosis Clincial Laboratory, Houston—Wanda R. Alexander, Doris J. Harper, Charles E. Rhodes, Selma M. Soyal; Bowman-Gray School of Medicine, Ultrasound Reading Center, Winston-Salem—Anne Safrit, Melanie Wilder, Linda Allred, Carolyn Bell; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Coordinating Center—Peter DeSaix, La Sonya Goode, Thomas Goodwin, Steve Hutton.

Keywords

  • African-American
  • Employment status
  • Hypertension
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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