Exploring Black and White Differences in Cardiovascular Health in Pre- and Post-Spousal Bereavement
AuthorWilson, Damere Tianna
AdvisorO'Connor, Mary- Frances
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResearch has shown that bereavement is associated with excess risk of mortality, especially in the early weeks and months after loss. However, the lack of representation of Black people in bereavement and grief research has led to a lack of understanding of how the effects of grief may be different in this population. The current study assesses whether the cardiovascular effects of grief differ for Black individuals versus non-Hispanic Whites, using archival data from a national prospective study of widowhood. The current study analyzes data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study is a multi-wave prospective study of 1,532 married individuals from the Detroit metropolitan area recruited using two-stage area probability sampling. The study included self-reported measures of hypertension and heart disease. Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure was also measured for a subset of the study participants. Time-points included for the current study include baseline and W1(6- months post spousal loss). We failed to confirm the hypothesis that Black participants would have higher pre-loss (i.e., baseline) incidence of hypertension and heart disease. Analysis of longitudinal data revealed that systolic BP at wave 1 was only significantly predicted by average systolic BP at baseline The present study provided some evidence that Black people are at increased risk of developing hypertension and heart disease following the loss of a loved one. However, further research is needed to understand the potential role of race in accounting for post-loss risk of poor cardiovascular health.
Degree ProgramGraduate College