PMID: 6613240May 1, 1983Paper

Status threat in mid-adulthood and its health consequences--medical sociologic findings in coronary diseases

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie
J Siegrist, I Weber

Abstract

Starting from a socio-physiological approach to the study of stress we define a distinct class of critical experiences called "active distress" which consists of enhanced effort due to external demands and limited success or control over the outcome. Results of a retrospective case-control study on 380 male patients (age 30-55) with defined first myocardial infarction and a matched control group are presented. In this frame of reference, results show that forced striving for maintenance of socioeconomic status and threat to achieved position (by downward mobility) are more common in the disease than in the control group. In addition coronary-prone behaviour is more pronounced if achieved status is threatened. Such an approach is of scientific as well as of practical interest, e.g., in the field of preventive gerontology.

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