|Title||African Ancestry, Social Factors, and Hypertension Among Non-Hispanic Blacks in the Health and Retirement Study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Marden, JR, Walter, S, Kaufman, JS, Glymour, MM|
|Journal||Biodemography and Social Biology|
|Keywords||Genetics, Health Conditions and Status, Women and Minorities|
The biomedical literature contains much speculation about possible genetic explanations for the large and persistent black-white disparities in hypertension, but profound social inequalities are also hypothesized to contribute to this outcome. Our goal is to evaluate whether socioeconomic status (SES) differences provide a plausible mechanism for associations between African ancestry and hypertension in a U.S. cohort of older non-Hispanic blacks. We included only non-Hispanic black participants (N=998) from the Health and Retirement Study who provided genetic data. We estimated percent African ancestry based on 84,075 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms using ADMIXTURE V1.23, imposing K=4 ancestral populations, and categorized into quartiles. Hypertension status was self-reported in the year 2000. We used linear probability models (adjusted for age, sex, and southern birth) to predict prevalent hypertension with African ancestry quartile, before and after accounting for a small set of SES measures. Respondents with the highest quartile of African ancestry had 8 percentage points' (RD=0.081; 95 CI: -0.001, 0.164) higher prevalence of hypertension compared to the lowest quartile. Adjustment for childhood disadvantage, education, income, and wealth explained over one-third (RD=0.050; 95 CI: -0.034, 0.135) of the disparity. Explanations for the residual disparity remain unspecified and may include other indicators of SES or diet, lifestyle, and psychosocial mechanisms.