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John Henryism and blood pressure among Nigerian civil servants.
  1. N Markovic,
  2. C H Bunker,
  3. F A Ukoli,
  4. L H Kuller
  1. Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE: Among urban Nigerian civil servants, higher socioeconomic status is related to increased blood pressure. In the United States, the relation between increased blood pressure and low socioeconomic status or low level of education has been found to be potentiated by high effort active coping (John Henryism) among African-Americans. Thus, the potentiating effect of high effort active coping as measured by the John Henryism Active Coping Scale, on socioeconomic status, as measured by job grade, was considered in relation to blood pressure in a Nigerian civil servant population. DESIGN: The influence of John Henryism on the association between educational level or socioeconomic status and increased blood pressure was examined during a comprehensive blood pressure survey. John Henryism refers to a strong behavioural predisposition to actively cope with psychosocial environmental stressors. SETTING: Benin City, Nigeria. PARTICIPANTS: Nigerian civil servant sample of 658 adults, aged 20 to 65 years. MAIN RESULTS: Among those with high John Henryism scores of upper socioeconomic status, whether measured by education level or job grade, there was a trend toward higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, adjusted for age and body mass index, in men and women, though not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: This trend is consistent with recent findings of increased blood pressure among women and African-Americans with high John Henryism and high status jobs.

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