HealthDay News — Low satisfaction with social relationships is associated with the accumulation of multiple chronic conditions (multimorbidity) in women, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in General Psychiatry.
Xiaolin Xu, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues examined the association between social relationship satisfaction and accumulation of multimorbidity among 7,694 Australian women free from 11 chronic conditions at age 45 to 50 years in 1996. Approximately every three years, five types of social relationship satisfaction (partner, family members, friends, work, and social activities) were measured and scored from 0 to 3 (very dissatisfied to very satisfied). The scores were summed to provide an overall satisfaction score (ranging from ≤5 to15).
Researchers found that 58.3 percent of the women reported multimorbidities during a 20-year period. A dose-response relationship was identified for the level of social relationship satisfaction with accumulation of multimorbidities. In the adjusted model, women with the lowest satisfaction score had the highest odds of accumulating multimorbidity compared with those reporting the highest satisfaction score (≤5 versus 15: odds ratio, 2.35). Results were found to be similar for each social relationship type. Overall, 22.72 percent of the association was explained by other risk factors such as socioeconomic, behavioral, and menopausal status.
“Social connections (e.g., social relationship satisfaction) should be considered a public health priority in chronic disease prevention and intervention,” the authors write.