Can racial disparity in health between black and white Americans be attributed to racial disparities in body weight and socioeconomic status?

TitleCan racial disparity in health between black and white Americans be attributed to racial disparities in body weight and socioeconomic status?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKahng, SKyoung
JournalHealth Soc Work
Volume35
Issue4
Pagination257-66
Date Published2010 Nov
ISSN Number0360-7283
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Aged, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Health Surveys, Healthcare Disparities, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Social Class, United States
Abstract

Few studies have examined to what extent racial disparities in chronic health conditions (CHCs) are attributable to racial differences in body weight (measured as body mass index [BMI]) and socioeconomic status (SES) among older adults. To address this gap, using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study, the current study examined risk factors of CHC trajectory including race, BMI, and SES. The sample consists of 22,560 in 1998, 20,825 in 2000, and 19,004 in 2002. Data analysis was done through latent growth curve modeling. As expected, older adults presented an increasing trajectory of CHCs over time. Black Americans presented a significantly more negative CHC trajectory than did their white counterparts, confirming racial disparity in health over time. Consequent hierarchical analyses revealed that racial disparity in CHC trajectory can be explained by racial disparity in BMI and that racial disparity in BMI can be attributed to racial disparity in SES. Because low SES is closely related to unhealthy diet and negative health behaviors that may subsequently lead to obesity and chronic health conditions, the findings suggest that to address racial disparity in CHCs, it is important for social workers to continuously try to mitigate racial inequality in SES.

Notes

Journal Article

DOI10.1093/hsw/35.4.257
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21171533?dopt=Abstract

Endnote Keywords

Racial Differences/Socioeconomic Status/Body Mass Index/Body Weight/Elderly/Health Problems/Black Americans/Health/Health Behavior/Inequality

Endnote ID

24410

Alternate JournalHealth Soc Work
Citation Key7517
PubMed ID21171533
Grant List1R03 AG024536-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States