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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 5, pp 329–335 | Cite as

Lone Motherhood and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

The National Population Health Survey (NPHS), 1998–99
  • Lynne E. Young
  • Alison D. James
  • Susanna L. Cunningham
Article

Abstract

Purpose: To examine whether lone parenthood among Canadian women is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods: The sample was from the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) and it included 2,184 mothers (women with dependent children < 18 years of age) of whom 478 were lone (22%) and 1,706 (78%) were partnered mothers. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression were undertaken with weighted data.

Results: Compared to partnered mothers, lone mothers were significantly younger, and reported lower levels of education and income. Lone mothers reported significantly lower levels of health, less social support, and more distress and depression than partnered mothers. Further, lone mothers were significantly more likely to be smokers than partnered mothers. Odds ratios for being a lone mother and current smoker on social assistance in this analysis was 4.15 (95% CI 2.27–7.60), and for those reporting low or mid/high incomes respectively, were 2.99 (1.51–5.90) and 3.01 (1.93–4.70). There were no significant differences between the two groups for obesity or physical activity.

Conclusions: Smoking is a significant CVD lifestyle risk for lone mothers. Smoking occurred in the context of considerable life stress, depression, and distress pointing to links between health behaviour, psychosocial factors, and CVD health. These results suggest that lone mothers are a key target group for primary prevention in the CVD field. Programs and policies that support lone mothers in their goals of attaining healthier lifestyles have the potential to contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Canadian women.

Résumé

Objet: Déterminer si la monoparentalité chez les Canadiennes est associée aux facteurs de risque des maladies cardiovasculaires (MCV).

Méthode: Notre échantillon, tiré de l’Enquête nationale sur la santé de la population (ENSP), comprenait 2 184 mères (ayant des enfants à charge de moins de 18 ans); 478 étaient monoparentales (22 %), et 1 706 (78 %) avaient un partenaire. Nous avons procédé à l’aide de statistiques descriptives et d’une analyse de régression logistique multiple de données pondérées.

Résultats: Par rapport aux mères ayant un partenaire, les mères de familles monoparentales étaient significativement plus jeunes et déclaraient des niveaux de scolarité et de revenu inférieurs. Les mères de familles monoparentales déclaraient aussi de manière significative être en moins bonne santé, avoir un niveau de soutien social inférieur et vivre davantage de détresse et de dépression que les mères ayant un partenaire. De plus, les mères de familles monoparentales étaient de manière significative plus susceptibles d’être des fumeuses que les mères ayant un partenaire. Le risque relatif d’être mère de famille monoparentale, fumeuse actuelle et bénéficiaire de l’aide sociale, dans notre analyse, était de 4,15 (IC de 95 %=2,27–7,60); ce risque était de 2,99 (1,51–5,90) et de 3,01 (1,93–4,70), respectivement, pour celles ayant déclaré un faible niveau de revenu ou un revenu moyen/supérieur. Nous n’avons observé aucune différence significative entre les deux groupes pour ce qui est de l’obésité ou de l’activité physique.

Conclusions: Pour les mères de familles monoparentales, le tabagisme est une habitude de vie qui comporte un important facteur de risque de MCV. Le tabagisme est présent dans un contexte de stress quotidien, de dépression et de détresse considérables, ce qui laisse supposer l’existence de liens entre les habitudes de santé, les facteurs psychosociaux et la santé cardiovasculaire. Ces résultats donnent à penser que les mères de familles monoparentales sont un important groupe cible pour la prévention primaire dans le domaine des MCV. Les programmes et les politiques qui appuient les mères de familles monoparentales à la recherche d’un mode de vie plus sain pourraient éventuellement contribuer à prévenir les maladies cardiovasculaires chez les Canadiennes.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynne E. Young
    • 1
  • Alison D. James
    • 2
  • Susanna L. Cunningham
    • 3
  1. 1.Langara CollegeUniversity of Victoria School of NursingVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Population and Public Health Branch, Cardiovascular Diseases DivisionHealth CanadaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.School of NursingUniversity of WashingtonWashingtonUSA

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