Allostatic load among non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and people of Mexican origin: effects of ethnicity, nativity, and acculturation.

Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-1153, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 10/2009; 100(5):940-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.129312
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated ethnic differences in allostatic load in a population-based sample of adults living in Texas City, TX, and assessed the effects of nativity and acculturation status on allostatic load among people of Mexican origin.
We used logistic regression models to examine ethnic variations in allostatic load scores among non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and people of Mexican origin. We also examined associations between measures of acculturation and allostatic load scores among people of Mexican origin only.
Foreign-born Mexicans were the least likely group to score in the higher allostatic load categories. Among individuals of Mexican origin, US-born Mexican Americans had higher allostatic load scores than foreign-born Mexicans, and acculturation measures did not account for the difference.
Our findings expand on recent research from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with respect to ethnicity and allostatic load. Our results are consistent with the healthy immigrant hypothesis (i.e., newer immigrants are healthier) and the acculturation hypothesis, according to which the longer Mexican immigrants reside in the United States, the greater their likelihood of potentially losing culture-related health-protective effects.

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