Association between Heart Disease and Subjective Health in Ten North, Middle, and South American Countries


1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

2 Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

3 Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health (CRECH), School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA


Introduction: This study was conducted to compare 10 American countries for the association between self-reported physician diagnosis of heart disease and subjective health above and beyond the effect of socio-economic factors.

Methods: With a cross-sectional design, this study used data from Research on Early Life and Aging Trends and Effects (RELATE). The study included adults from 10 American countries including Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, United States, Mexico, Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Uruguay. Outcome was self-rated health, independent variable was self-reported physician diagnosis of heart disease, while age, gender, and socio-economics (education and income) were control variables. Country-specific logistic regressions were used for data analysis.

Results: Although the effects of age, gender, education, and income, were inconsistent, with no exception, in all countries, heart disease was associated with poor subjective health. In Costa Rica, income modified the effect of heart disease on subjective health. In the US, age and gender modified the effect of heart disease on subjective health.

Conclusion: Although the effect of heart disease on well-being was consistent across all north American countries, this effect seemed to depend on various demographic and socio-economic factors in various countries. 


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