Psychosocial and reported inflammatory disease correlates of self-reported heart disease in women from South of Israel

Yori Gidron, Amalia Levy, Julie Cwikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Past and recent research suggests that psychological and biological factors may increase women's risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). This study examined the prevalence and correlates of self-reported heart disease among Jewish women from the Negev, a socio-economically and culturally unique region in south of Israel. Method: A cross-sectional design was used. We interviewed over the phone 526 randomly-selected women (mean age: 44.3 ± 14.2 years) about background variables (e.g., education), biomedical risk factors (e.g., body mass index or BMI), self-reported inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis or RA, urinary infections), psychosocial factors (depression, hopelessness, self-esteem, social-support) and self-rated health and heart disease. Results: Prior physician diagnosis of heart disease was reported by 8.2% of women. Age, economic difficulties, diabetes, hypertension, BMI, physical exercise, RA and urinary infections were significantly associated with reported heart disease. Of all psychosocial factors considered, hopelessness and self-esteem significantly distinguished heart disease cases from non-cases. In a multiple logistic regression, poor self-esteem, RA and hypertension were significant independent correlates of self-reported heart disease. Conclusions: Pending replication with objective measures of heart disease and a prospective design, poor self-esteem and RA may prove to be new CHD risk factors in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • CHD
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Israel
  • Psychosocial
  • Risk factors
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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