185460 Does racial discrimination modify the relationship between obesity and hypertension?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:35 PM

Amy Dailey, PhD, MPH , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Ellen Lopez, PhD, MPH , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Tina Arcomone, MPH , CDC Miami Quarantine Station, Miami, FL
Latarsha Chisholm, MSW , Department of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Hypertension rates have consistently been higher for African Americans than other races regardless of age. While there are many known predictors of hypertension, including obesity, the reasons behind this racial disparity are not well understood. We used 2002 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data (n=6,150) to determine if there is a relationship between experiencing a physical response to racial discrimination and self reported hypertension. Participants were asked: “Within the past 30 days, have you experienced any physical symptoms, for example headache, an upset stomach, tensing of your muscles, or a pounding heart, as a result of how you were treated based on your race?” In a multivariate logistic regression we found a significant interaction between obesity and experiencing a physical response to racial discrimination in terms of self reported hypertension. For respondents who reported no physical responses to discrimination, the relationship between being obese and reporting hypertension was (Odds ratio (OR) 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.47, 2.18), compared with normal weight individuals. For respondents who did report experiencing physical responses to discrimination the odds ratio increased to 7.13 (2.37, 21.46) (obese compared with normal weight). Models were adjusted for sociodemographic factors, general health status, and access to care. However, even after accounting for this significant interaction, a race difference remained with African Americans having higher rates of hypertension than Whites (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.05, 1.94). These results suggest that experiencing physical symptoms from racial discrimination may increase the magnitude of effect of obesity on hypertension.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the relationship of racial discrimination to health outcomes. 2. Describe the relationship between obesity, racial discrimination and hypertension from a Florida BRFSS sample. 3. Discuss possible explanations for the interaction between obesity and racial discrimination on hypertension. 4. Articulate how these findings may impact health disparities. 5. Identify policy implications for these findings.

Keywords: Hypertension, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Faculty, Researcher University of Florida
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Health Disparities
See more of: Epidemiology