This study's objectives were, first, to examine the association between social engagement and the odds of taking hypertensive medications and treatment among adults in China; and second, to explore the lifestyle and psychological mechanisms underlying this association. Data were from the WHO Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (WHO-SAGE), a national survey of 11,046 participants aged 18 to 69 conducted in China in 2010. The key outcome was a dichotomous indicator of whether the respondent was taking hypertensive medication or other treatment. A series of logistic regression models were fitted to examine the research questions. Higher levels of social engagement were found to be associated with a lower odds of taking hypertensive medication or treatment, and the association was stronger for women than for men. Lifestyle factors (i.e. smoking and BMI) and perceived overall life satisfaction were significant covariates. Life satisfaction helped explain some of the social engagement benefit for both men and women and BMI only appeared to be a mediator for men. Being married was not significantly associated with lower odds of taking hypertensive medication or treatment in either men or women. Social engagement seems to be protective against hypertension for adult men and women in China, although causation could not be determined in this cross-sectional study. Psychosocial mechanisms are probably at work, but these vary by gender.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health