268013 Effects of Discrimination on the Health of African-Americans and Caribbean Blacks

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Allana Forde, MPH , Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Kimberly Alvarez, MPH , Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Lisa Bates, PhD , Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Introduction: Studies of racial discrimination have demonstrated that repeated, long-term exposure to this stressor is associated with poor health effects. However, studies involving discrimination and health outcomes fail to address ethnic differences within the Black population living in the U.S. and, more specifically, the effects of discrimination on poor self-rated health (PPSRH), diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Purpose: This study examined the relationship between discrimination experiences and PSRH, diabetes and CVD among African Americans (AA) and Caribbean-born Blacks (CBB). Methods: A sample of 5070 non-institutionalized Black adults participating in the 2001-2003 cross-sectional National Survey of American Life (NSAL) were analyzed using Statistical Analysis Software 9.2 (SAS 9.2). Logistic regression models examined the relationship between ethnicity, discrimination and self-reported health outcomes in AAs (N=3570) and CBBs (N=1166).

Results: Important differences between AAs and CBBs were evident. Among AAs and CBBs, exposure to racial discrimination predicted higher rates of poor PSRH, diabetes and CVD. AAs reported more discrimination (41%) compared to CBBS (36 %). AAs who experienced racial discrimination were more likely to report poor PSRH (OR=1.24, CI: .93-1.64), diabetes (OR=1.53, CI: 1.16-2.03) and CVD (OR=1.11, CI: .79-1.55) compared to AAs with no reported discrimination.

Discussion: CBBs reported better health outcomes compared to AAs. The lower reports of racial discrimination among CBBs may be one explanation for these findings, even when controlling for factors such as socioeconomic position. This study emphasizes the importance of considering ethnic diversity and discrimination as sources of dissimilarities in health outcomes within the Black Diaspora.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Examinine the ethnic heterogeneity among Blacks in the U.S. Identify ethnicity specific characteristics that influence health. Discover pathways through which health is protected for Black populations. Encourage researchers to examine the harmful effects of racial discrimination on health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content I am responsible for because I have a diverse background in chronic diseases, epidemiology and health disparities. As a PhD student, I was exposed to many courses and mentors in the fields of social and chronic disease epidemiology.
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.