Who we are: Demographic and Stress Profile of the Philippine LIFECARE Cohort

Olivia T. Sison,1,2,3 Queenie G. Ngalob,3 Felix Eduardo R. Punzalan,3,4 Nina T. Castillo-Carandang,1,3 Paulette D. Nacpil-Dominguez,3 Elmer Jasper B. Llanes,3,4
Felicidad V. Velandria,3 Paul Ferdinand M. Reganit,3,4 Wilbert Allan G. Gumatay3 and
Rody G. Sy3,4,5 on behalf of the LIFECARE Philippines Team

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila
2Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila
2LIFE course study in CARdiovascular disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE)
Philippine Study Group, Lipid Research Unit, UP-PGH, Manila, Philippines
3Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital University of the Philippines Manila
4Cardinal Santos Medical Center, San Juan City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Objective. To describe the demographic and stress profile of the participants in the LIFECARE cohort.

Methods. The Life Course Study in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE) is a community-based prospective cohort of apparently healthy individuals aged 20 to 50 years old with no preexisting cardiovascular disease. The second phase out of four phases of study involves collection of baseline socio-demographic, anthropometric, biochemical and cardiovascular parameters and stress profiles. It was conducted via face-to-face interview using a survey questionnaire.

Results and Conclusion. A total of 3072 participants from Metro Manila and 4 provinces in Luzon were recruited. The female to male ratio was 1.3:1. Majority of the participants were aged 30 years old and above. Most were married, employed and literate. Majority attained at least high school level of education. Loss of job was the most common stressor experienced in the past year. Majority of the cohort reported occasional experience of general stress and moderate level of financial stress. Occurence of general stress within the past year was higher among females (p < 0.001), younger age-group (p=0.006), and among those who reached college level of education (p<0.001). Furthermore, level of current financial stress was high to severe among older age-group (p=0.004), and among widow/widower/separated (p<0.0001). While the relationship between psychosocial stress and physical illness had not been established in this study, there is a need to investigate demographics and psychosocial stress, and their implecations in increasing adverse health outcomes in general, and cardiovascular risk in particular.

Keywords: LIFECARE, cardiovascular risk factors, Philippines, demographic profile, stress