Social integration and risk of mortality among African-Americans: the Jackson heart study

Harold H. Lee, Sakurako S. Okuzono, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, Peter James, Hayami K. Koga, Mario Sims, Francine Grodstein, Laura D. Kubzansky

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Objective: Evidence suggests that greater social integration is related to lower mortality rates. However, studies among African-Americans are limited. We examined whether higher social integration was associated with lower mortality in 5306 African-Americans from the Jackson Heart Study, who completed the Berkman-Syme Social Network Index in 2000–2004 and were followed until 2018. Methods: We estimated hazard ratios (HR) of mortality by categories of the Social Network Index (i.e., high social isolation, moderate social isolation [reference group], moderate social integration, high social integration) using Cox proportional hazard models. Covariates included baseline sociodemographics, depressive symptoms, health conditions, and health behaviors. Results: Compared with moderate isolation, moderate integration was associated with an 11% lower mortality rate (HR = 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77, 1.03), and high integration was associated with a 25% lower mortality rate (HR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.64, 0.87), controlling for sociodemographics and depressive symptoms; compared with moderate isolation, high isolation was related to a 34% higher mortality rate (HR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.00, 1.79). Further adjustment of potential mediators (health conditions and health behaviors) only slightly attenuated HRs (e.g., HRmoderate integration = 0.90, 95% CI 0.78, 1.05; HRhigh integration = 0.77, 95% CI 0.66, 0.89). Conclusion: Social integration may be a psychosocial health asset with future work needed to identify biobehavioral processes underlying observed associations with mortality among African-Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1327
Number of pages11
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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