Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disparities in cardiovascular risk based more on socioeconomic status than race, ethnicity

Date:
August 2, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
A new study suggests that disparities in cardiovascular disease risk in the United States are due less to race or ethnicity than to socioeconomic status. The researchers found that there are large differences in risk by socioeconomic status within racial and ethnic groups -- with the poorest individuals having the highest risk -- but that there are few differences in risk between racial and ethnic groups.

A new UCLA study suggests that disparities in cardiovascular disease risk in the United States are due less to race or ethnicity than to socioeconomic status.

Related Articles


In the study, published in the August issue of the journal Annals of Epidemiology, researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and colleagues found that there are large differences in risk by socioeconomic status within racial and ethnic groups -- with the poorest individuals having the highest risk -- but that there are few differences in risk between racial and ethnic groups.

"Most ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk are really due to socioeconomic differences between the races in the U.S. -- except for one outstanding exception," said lead researcher Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine. "Foreign-born Mexican Americans, as opposed to Mexican Americans born here, are healthier than everyone else, and this may have less to do with ethnicity or genes than with migration patterns."

Previous studies have found large differences in health outcomes by both socioeconomic status and race and ethnicity, and these are thought to be due to differences in access to care, health behaviors, and levels of economic and social stresses, which have been linked to heart disease.

Racial disparities in health have also raised the question of whether there is a genetic component to these differences, but it has been difficult to untangle real racial and ethnic disparities from socioeconomic disparities because of the higher numbers of socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals in minority racial and ethnic groups.

Using data from 12,154 individuals in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-06), the study authors examined the 10-year risk for coronary heart disease -- as predicted by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines, updated in 2004 -- as well as the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and overt diabetes mellitus, a major contributor to coronary heart disease risk, among various racial and ethnic groups.

To separate out socioeconomic risk differences from racial and ethnic differences, the researchers examined socioeconomic disparities separately within the racial and ethnic groups, which included non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, U.S.-born Mexican Americans and foreign-born Mexican Americans (those born in Mexico but living in the U.S.). They also examined racial and ethnic differences among individuals from the same socioeconomic stratum.

The researchers found that the lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the risk -- in all racial and ethnic groups. A large fraction of the difference in cardiovascular and diabetes risk could be linked to differences in lifestyle. For instance, there is more smoking, less physical activity and more obesity among the poor.

By contrast, the researchers found inconsistent racial and ethnic risk disparities in some -- though not all -- socioeconomic strata. Non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans born in the U.S., for example had higher risk, but Mexican Americans born in Mexico had lower risk.

This surprising finding could be explained by selection pressures in migration, according to Karlamangla.

"Only the healthy are able to migrate here, and the unhealthy go back for their care," he said.

The researchers did note some limitations in the study, such as false discovery stemming from the multiple testing for disparities within four racial and ethnic groups and three socioeconomic strata, and the possibility that effects of health behaviors on risks can vary by ethnicity, which makes it more difficult to control for these factors.

Still, "this large national study documents strong, inverse socioeconomic gradients with coronary heart disease risk in all race/ethnicity groups, and demonstrates that race/ethnicity disparities in risk are primarily due to socioeconomic differences between the groups," the researchers conclude. "Socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals need to be specifically targeted for early risk detection and management and health behavior counseling if we are to improve the cardiovascular health of the nation."

Additional study researchers were Sharon Stein Merkin and Teresa E. Seeman of UCLA and Eileen M. Crimmins of the University of Southern California.

The National Institutes of Health funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Disparities in cardiovascular risk based more on socioeconomic status than race, ethnicity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802110813.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, August 2). Disparities in cardiovascular risk based more on socioeconomic status than race, ethnicity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802110813.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Disparities in cardiovascular risk based more on socioeconomic status than race, ethnicity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802110813.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins