Abstract P151: The Association Between Perceived Discrimination And Behavioral Risk Factors Among African Americans In The Jackson Heart Study
Objectives. Prior research has reported an association between perceived discrimination and health outcomes among African Americans, and there is growing interest in the pathways in which it gets ‘under the skin.’ One such pathway may be through the association with behavioral risk factors. Using Jackson Heart Study data, we examined whether perceived reports of discrimination were associated with behavioral risk factors among African Americans.
Methods. Cross-sectional associations of perceived reports of everyday discrimination, lifetime discrimination, and burden of lifetime discrimination with smoking status, physical activity, percent calories from fat in diet, and hours of sleep were examined among 4,939 participants 20–95 years old (women=3,123; men=1,816). We estimated odds ratios (OR) of current smoking and mean differences in physical activity, fat in diet and hours of sleep with measures of discrimination and adjusted for age and socioeconomic status.
Results. Men were more likely to smoke than women, and had higher physical activity scores. Women reported slightly more hours of sleep than men. Men and women reported similar percentages of calories from fat in diet. After adjustment for age and socioeconomic status, perceived everyday discrimination was associated with more smoking and a greater percentage of calories from fat in diet in men and women (OR for smoking: 1.13, 95%CI 1.00–1.28 and 1.19, 95%CI 1.05–1.34; mean difference in percent calories from fat in diet: 0.37, p<.05,0.43, p<.01, in men and women respectively). Everyday discrimination was associated with higher physical activity scores in women (0.11, p<.05) but not men. Everyday and lifetime discrimination were associated with fewer hours of sleep in men and women (everyday discrimination: −0.08, p<.05 and −0.18, p<.001, respectively; and lifetime discrimination: −0.08, p<.05, and −0.24, p<.001, respectively). Lifetime discrimination was associated with more smoking and higher physical activity scores in women only in fully-adjusted models (OR for smoking: 1.17, 95%CI 1.03–1.33; mean difference in physical activity: 0.14, p<.01), and lifetime discrimination was positively associated with percent calories from fat in diet in men only in the fully-adjusted model (0.46, p <.01). Burden of lifetime discrimination was associated with more smoking in women and fewer hours of sleep in women.
Conclusions. Behavioral risk factors offer a potential mechanism through which perceived discrimination affects health in African Americans.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.