Health Status Among Urban African American Women: Associations Among Well-Being, Perceived Stress, and Demographic Factors

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations among health status, well-being, and perceived stress in a sample of urban African American women. African American women (n = 128) (Mean ± SD, 49.3 ± 10.5) from Baltimore, Maryland, enrolled in a church-based physical activity randomized trial were included in the analysis. Health status was assessed from the SF-36. Well-being, perceived stress, and demographics were also determined from self-report. Results indicated that the sample reported favorable health status, well-being, and stress levels compared to mean levels reported in the literature. Spearman rank-order correlations indicated that perceived stress score negatively correlated with most health status dimensions and well-being in the present, past, and future. Multiple regression analyses, adjusting for potential demographic confounders, indicated that higher perceived stress was associated with lower health status and well-being. If these results are confirmed in prospective investigations, they suggest that interventions designed to reduce stress may impact health status and future morbidity and mortality.

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