Sex-specific effects of social networks on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension among older Korean adults

Jiwon Baek, Nam Wook Hur, Hyeon Chang Kim, Yoosik Youm

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Background: Hypertension is a common chronic disease among older adults, and is associated with medical complications and mortality. This study aimed to examine the effects of social network characteristics on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension among older adults. Methods: The Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (KSHAP) interviewed 814 ≥ 60-year-old residents and their spouses from a rural township between December 2011 and March 2012 (response rate: 95%). We evaluated the data from 595 participants. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the effects of network characteristics on hypertension. Results: We observed strong sex-specific network effects on the prevalence, awareness, and control of hypertension. Among older women, network density was associated with hypertension awareness [odds ratio (OR): 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03-5.37] and control (OR: 1.72; 95% CI: 0.94-3.13). Among older men, large networks were associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.58-0.96). Compared to older women, older men with coarse networks exhibited better hypertension awareness (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.14-0.95) and control (OR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.19-0.91). Network size interacted with density for hypertension control (P = 0.051), with controlled hypertension being associated with large and course networks. Conclusions: A large network was associated with a lower risk for hypertension, and a coarse network was associated with hypertension awareness and control among older men. Older women with dense networks were most likely to exhibit hypertension awareness and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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