|Title||Multiple Family Member Deaths and Cardiometabolic Health among Black and White Older Adults.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Authors||Donnelly, R, Cha, H, Umberson, D|
|Journal||Journal of Health and Social Behavior|
|Keywords||Bereavement, cardiometabolic health, race, racial disadvantage, Stress|
Although the bereavement literature is voluminous, we know very little about how exposure to multiple family member deaths across the life course shapes health trajectories as people age and whether unequal exposure to bereavement contributes to racial inequities in cardiometabolic health. We use longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1992-2016) to consider how multiple family member deaths before midlife shape trajectories of cardiometabolic health after age 50 for Black and white adults (n = 22,974). Results show that multiple family member deaths prior to age 50 are associated with more cardiometabolic conditions at age 50 and a faster increase in conditions with advancing age. Moreover, Black adults are significantly disadvantaged by a greater risk of bereavement and more cardiometabolic conditions regardless of bereavement status. The life course trauma of exposure to multiple family member deaths uniquely contributes to the cardiometabolic risk of Black Americans.