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BACKGROUND: Sense of coherence (SOC) is a central construct in Antonovsky's salutogenic theory, which focuses on people's health-promoting and health-protecting characteristics. We examined prospectively the association of SOC with all-cause mortality during 22 years (1989-2011). METHODS: The data of 585 men from the Israel longitudinal study of Glucose Intolerance, Obesity, and Hypertension (The Israel GOH) comprised the analytic sample. Participants were 48-67 years old at study entry (1989). Information on sociodemographic, medical history and health-related risk factors were obtained at baseline through a face-to-face interview. Participants completed Antonovsky's 29-item SOC scale. Information on all-cause mortality was obtained from the Israeli Mortality Register (1989 through 2011). We evaluated the effect of SOC on time-to-death using multiple Cox proportional hazard regression. RESULTS: Controlling for sociodemographic, smoking status and morbidities, there was strong evidence of an association between SOC and 22-year all-cause mortality [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR)=0.992, 95% CI 0.986-0.998 per unit]. Strong SOC was associated with a 35% reduction in all-cause mortality relative to weak SOC (aHR=0.653, 95% CI 0.454-0.939). There was no convincing evidence of a survival advantage for individuals with intermediate level of SOC relative to persons reporting weak SOC (aHR=0.821, 95% CI 0.595-1.134). CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides strong evidence of an association between SOC and mortality, above and beyond potential confounding factors and established risk factors. Considerable more research is needed on the role of SOC in health and survival and the potential pathways linking SOC and health.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.12.010

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Psychosom Res

Publication Date

04/2015

Volume

78

Pages

377 - 383

Keywords

Mortality, Personal disposition, Prospective study, Salutogenesis, Sense of coherence, Aged, Health Status, Humans, Israel, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Sense of Coherence, Smoking