African Ancestry, Social Factors, and Hypertension Among Non-Hispanic Blacks in the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleAfrican Ancestry, Social Factors, and Hypertension Among Non-Hispanic Blacks in the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMarden, JR, Walter, S, Kaufman, JS, M. Glymour, M
JournalBiodemography Soc Biol
Date Published2016
ISSN Number1948-5573
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Aged, Female, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Hypertension, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic factors, United States

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.

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Alternate JournalBiodemography Soc Biol
Citation Key8350
PubMed ID27050031