Abstract 3656: Cardiovascular Risk Indicators and Perceived Race/Ethnic Discrimination in the Dallas Heart Study
Background: Although race/ethnic (r/e) discrimination is a chronic stressor that might have negative health effects, cardiovascular data related to experiences with discrimination among different r/e groups in the United States remain sparse.
Methods and Results: Utilizing data from the multi-ethnic, Dallas Heart Study cohort, we assessed the association between experiences of perceived r/e discrimination, traditional risk factors for cardiovascular (CVD) disease, C-reactive protein (CRP) and coronary artery calcium (CAC) score among blacks, whites, and Hispanics. Prevalent CAC was defined as a CAC score ≥ 10 Agatston units and CRP elevation was defined as > 3 mg/L. Participants were asked “Have you ever been discriminated against due to your race/ethnicity (responses: yes, no or don’t know)”. Blacks reported r/e discrimination more frequently than whites or Hispanics (blacks: 50.0%; whites 13.5%; Hispanics 30.5%; p <0.001). Blacks who reported r/e discrimination were more likely to be male, college graduates, have a family history of MI, and were more physically active than blacks that did not report r/e discrimination (all p < 0.05). Hispanics who reported r/e discrimination had a higher prevalence of smoking and were more likely to be born in the United States. In models that adjusted for traditional CVD risk factors, CRP and medication use, we found no association between reports of r/e discrimination and prevalent CAC [blacks Odds Ratio (OR) =0.8 (95% CI 0.5–1.1); whites OR =1.1 (95% CI 0.5–2.3); Hispanics OR = 1.1 (95% CI 0.4 –3.1)] or with elevated CRP [(blacks OR=0.8 (95% CI 0.6 –1.1); whites OR=0.8 (95% CI 0.4 –1.5; Hispanics OR = 0.8 (95% CI 0.3–1.9)]. Stratification by gender and education did not change the observed relationship between perceived r/e discrimination and CAC or elevated CRP.
Conclusion: While perceived race/ethnic discrimination is associated with certain health characteristics that can result in negative health outcomes, we found no association between race/ethnic discrimination and either subclinical coronary artery disease determined by the coronary calcium score or inflammation as assessed by elevated CRP levels.