Objectives This study examine the effects of sense of being relied by others reflecting altruistic motivation for pro-social behaviour on cardiovascular disease mortality among Japanese community residents.
Method Subjects were 99 969 Japanese men and women aged 40–79 years free from cardiovascular and cancer disease at baseline 1988–1990, included in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. Sex-specific age and multivariable adjusted HRs were calculated according to the perceived level of being relied by others from Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the risks of cardiovascular mortality. Additionally, one-to-one nearest neighbour propensity score matching analysis were carried using a probit model.
Result Among 41 906 men and 58 063 women followed up for 14.4 years in median, a total of 4280 (2320 men and 1960 women)cardiovascular deaths were documented. The multivariable HRs of total cardiovascular disease deaths for men with the highest sense of being relied by others to compare with those in the lowest were 0.65 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.82), p for trend p=0.03 for stroke, and 0.75 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.88), p for trend=0.004, for total cardiovascular deaths with dose responses. For both men and women, they were not associated with coronary heart disease deaths. The HRs and the 95% CIs calculated in the matching technique were not grossly different.
Conclusion A lower level of sense of being relied by others was found to be associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among middle-aged men, suggesting a protective role of altruistic psychological conditions on cardiovascular disease.
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