STRESS THEORY AND
ACRITICAL REVIEW OF A
PAPER ON PSYCHOSOCIAL
FACTORS RELATED TO
RISK IN UK SOUTH ASIAN
A critical review of a paper on psychosocial factors related to cardiovascular disease risk in UK South Asian men.
I have read Emily et al, (2007) report on `psychosocial factors related to cardiovascular disease risk in UK South Asian men- a preliminary study`. The study was cross- cultural and its major aim was to compare the exposure of UK South Asian men and white European men to psychosocial and conventional factors associated with cardiovascular disease risk.
The study is timely considering recent statistics which indicate that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in UK and is responsible for approximately 238,000 deaths annually, (39%) of total mortality (Lyratzopoulos, 2005). Studies in UK have found that south Asians risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) death is as much as 40% above whites; and have 2-3 fold high incidences of hypertension and diabetes (Mckeighe et al, 1988; Cappucio et al, 2002)
Also, the researchers used a face to face interview approach, which, I think was appropriate since this is the first phase of an exploratory study. A sample size of 105 respondents was randomly selected from a bigger study population in west London. The scales included measures of psychosocial and cardiovascular risk factors. The study was predominantly quantitative in nature. Psycho-social assessments consisted of measures of chronic stress, protective factors in social environments, and psychological factors. Data analysis phase appropriately employed t-test however probably the baseline characteristics analysis between the two ethnic groups could have used chi-square test to examine the categorical variables and t-test to compare continuous variables.
More over, Significant findings pertaining to psycho-social factors included; the ethnic groups didn’t markedly differ in job demands although job control and emotional support were lower in South Asians; South Asians who live in less socially cohesive neighbourhood reported higher financial strain; a higher % of South Asians believed employers discriminated against them on the basis of racial ground; depression rating scores were elevated among South Asians compared to white Europeans extra. There were no significant ethnic differences in biological risk factors. Generally, psychosocial adversity associated with increased proneness to coronary heart disease was higher among UK South Asians compared to white Europeans.
Also, overall the study contributes to our understanding of psychosocial and conventional risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease among migrant UK South Asians and European men and builds on the continuous nature of the field of health psychology. The study brings out the competing explanations, disputes and debates on the concepts under study.
More so, the study puts forward alternative new perspectives to explain the higher coronary heart disease (CHD) incidences and mortality among the UK South Asian men compared to the people of European origin, since the conventional risk factors alone do not appear to count for the differences in coronary heart disease incidence. For example the non-migrant UK South Asian men show similar biological proneness and yet the CHD rates are less severe. The researchers rightly urge that additional risk factors may account for the remaining variance. Indeed, Bhopal, (2002) urges that the causes of higher disease burden among individuals of South Asian origin are not fully understood, but may include excessive exposure to known (conventional) factors, excess exposure to...
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