Latent constructs in psychosocial factors associated with cardiovascular disease: An examination by race and sex

Cari J Clark, Kimberly M. Henderson, Carlos F.Mendes de Leon, Hongfei Guo, Scott A Lunos, Denis A. Evans, Susan Everson-Rose

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8 Scopus citations


This study examines race and sex differences in the latent structure of 10 psychosocial measures and the association of identified factors with self-reported history of coronary heart disease (CHD). Participants were 4,128 older adults from the Chicago Health and Aging Project. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with oblique geomin rotation was used to identify latent factors among the psychosocial measures. Multi-group comparisons of the EFA model were conducted using exploratory structural equation modeling to test for measurement invariance across race and sex subgroups. A factor-based scale score was created for invariant factor(s). Logistic regression was used to test the relationship between the factor score(s) and CHD adjusting for relevant confounders. Effect modification of the relationship by race-sex subgroup was tested. A two-factor model fit the data well (comparative fit index =0.986; Tucker-Lewis index = 0.969; root mean square error of approximation = 0.039). Depressive symptoms, neuroticism, perceived stress, and low life satisfaction loaded on Factor I. Social engagement, spirituality, social networks, and extraversion loaded on Factor II. Only Factor I, re-named distress, showed measurement invariance across subgroups. Distress was associated with a 37% increased odds of self-reported CHD (odds ratio: 1.37; 95% confidence intervals: 1.25, 1.50; p-value < 0.0001). This effect did not differ by race or sex (interaction p-value = 0.43). This study identified two underlying latent constructs among a large range of psychosocial variables; only one, distress, was validly measured across race-sex subgroups. This construct was robustly related to prevalent CHD, highlighting the potential importance of latent constructs as predictors of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 5
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberFEB
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Factor analysis
  • Psychosocial
  • Race and Sex
  • Risk factor


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