Dimensions of and Responses to Perceived Discrimination and Subclinical Disease Among African-Americans in the Jackson Heart Study
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Although discrimination among African Americans (AAs) has been linked to various health outcomes, few studies have examined associations of multiple measures of discrimination with prevalent subclinical disease in a large sample of AAs.
To examine the associations of measures of discrimination and coping responses to discrimination with prevalent subclinical disease among AAs in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS); and whether this association is modified by sex.
We examined the associations of everyday, lifetime, and burden of lifetime discrimination with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) among 3029 AAs in the JHS. Prevalence ratios (PR 95% confidence interval—CI) and odds ratios (OR 95% CI) were estimated for above-median cIMT and LVH, respectfully, adjusting for demographic, behavioral, and clinical risk factors.
No significant associations were found between everyday and lifetime discrimination and median cIMT and LVH. Participants who reported high (vs. no) burden of lifetime discrimination had a 48% reduced odds of LVH (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29, 0.94) after full adjustment. There was evidence of effect modification by sex in the association of coping with everyday discrimination and LVH after full adjustment (p value for interaction < 0.01). Women who actively (vs. passively) coped with everyday discrimination had a greater odds of prevalent LVH (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.39, 4.46).
This study suggests that the manner by which AA women cope with discriminatory events is associated with subclinical disease.
KeywordsDiscrimination Subclinical disease Coping African American Jackson heart study Cardiovascular disease
The authors thank the staff and participants of the Jackson Heart Study for their important contributions and ongoing support.
The Jackson Heart Study is supported by contracts HHSN268201300046C, HHSN268201300047C, HHSN268201300048C, HHSN268201300049C, HHSN268201300050C from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Dr. Sims is supported by the grants P60MD002249 and U54MD008176 from the NIMHD; 15SFDRN26140001 and P50HL120163 from American Heart Association; and 1R01HL116446 from the NHLBI.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All participants provided informed consent and the study was approved by the institutional review boards of the participating institutions: the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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