Association of Psychosocial Factors With Risk of Chronic Diseases: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study

Berhe W. Sahle, Wen Chen, Yohannes Adama Melaku, Blessing J. Akombi, Lal B. Rawal, Andre M.N. Renzaho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: This study examines the prospective association between a range of psychosocial factors and common noncommunicable diseases. Methods: In October 2018, nationally representative data were analyzed from 11,637 adults followed annually between 2003 and 2013. Participants reported on psychosocial factors they experienced in the 12 months preceding each wave. The onset of noncommunicable diseases was defined based on self-reported physician's diagnosis. Generalized estimating equations estimated the ORs and 95% CIs of psychosocial factors on noncommunicable diseases, controlling for other confounders. Results: Social support index was inversely associated with the onset of anxiety or depression in men (OR=0.95, 95% CI=0.93, 0.98) and women (OR=0.96, 95% CI=0.95, 0.98) and with emphysema in women (OR=0.96, 95% CI=0.93, 0.99). Psychological distress was positively associated with the onset of heart diseases (OR=2.38, 95% CI=1.16, 4.89 for men; OR=2.30, 95% CI=1.10, 4.78 for women), emphysema (OR=1.11, 95% CI=1.03, 1.20 for men; OR=1.08, 95% CI=1.04, 1.12 for women), and circulatory diseases (OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.02, 1.08 for women). Financial stress increased the onset of anxiety or depression (OR=1.36, 95% CI=1.26, 1.63 for men; OR=1.30, 95% CI=1.10, 1.52 for women) and type 2 diabetes in women (OR=1.60, 95% CI=1.18, 2.18). Significant associations of parenting stress and the likelihood of the onset of anxiety or depression were only evident in women. Conclusions: These findings suggest that several adverse psychosocial risk factors are independently associated with the onset of noncommunicable diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e39-e50
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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