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: 4.55). 10/2009; 100(5):940-6. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.129312
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: James S Goodwin
  • Source
    • "All study participants were recruited between 2004 and 2012. Each center had its own protocol for recruitment and data collection that has been described previously343536, and inclusion/exclusion criteria for each study are listed in Table 1. Study participants agreed to donate a blood sample to extract genomic DNA, and they completed a standardized questionnaire at the time of study enrollment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Leukocyte telomere length(LTL) has been associated with age, self-reported race/ethnicity, gender, education, and psychosocial factors, including perceived stress, and depression. However, inconsistencies in associations of LTL with disease and other phenotypes exist across studies. Population characteristics, including race/ethnicity, laboratory methods, and statistical approaches in LTL have not been comprehensively studied and could explain inconsistent LTL associations. Methods: LTL was measured using Southern Blot in 1510 participants from a multi-ethnic, multi-center study combining data from 3 centers with different population characteristics and laboratory processing methods. Main associations between LTL and psychosocial factors and LTL and race/ethnicity were evaluated and then compared across generalized estimating equations(GEE) and linear regression models. Statistical models were adjusted for factors typically associated with LTL(age, gender, cancer status) and also accounted for factors related to center differences, including laboratory methods(i.e., DNA extraction). Associations between LTL and psychosocial factors were also evaluated within race/ethnicity subgroups (Non-hispanic Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics). Results: Beyond adjustment for age, gender, and cancer status, additional adjustments for DNA extraction and clustering by center were needed given their effects on LTL measurements. In adjusted GEE models, longer LTL was associated with African American race (Beta(β)(standard error(SE)) = 0.09(0.04), p-value = 0.04) and Hispanic ethnicity (β(SE) = 0.06(0.01), p-value = 0.02) compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. Longer LTL was also associated with less than a high school education compared to having greater than a high school education (β(SE) = 0.06(0.02), p-value = 0.04). LTL was inversely related to perceived stress (β(SE) = -0.02(0.003), p<0.001). In subgroup analyses, there was a negative association with LTL in African Americans with a high school education versus those with greater than a high school education(β(SE) = -0.11(0.03), p-value<0.001). Conclusions: Laboratory methods and population characteristics that differ by center can influence telomere length associations in multicenter settings, but these effects could be addressed through statistical adjustments. Proper evaluation of potential sources of bias can allow for combined multicenter analyses and may resolve some inconsistencies in reporting of LTL associations. Further, biologic effects on LTL may differ under certain psychosocial and racial/ethnic circumstances and could impact future health disparity studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · PLoS ONE
    • "Because the population in El Paso is primarily Mexican American and most speak Spanish in the home (69%; U.S. Census Bureau, 2014a), acculturation is an important risk factor to preventive service use, and few studies have successfully disentangled its relationship with economic standing. This is despite the well-established link between health behaviors, disease outcomes, and acculturation in Mexican Americans (Creighton, Goldman, Pebley, & Chung, 2012; García, 2008; Kershaw, Albrecht, & Carnethon, 2013; Peek et al., 2010; Salinas, Hilfinger Messias, Morales-Campos, & Parra-Medina, 2014; Salinas & Sheffield, 2011). Some evidence suggests that Hispanics who are less proficient in English have poorer health, less access to care, and receive less preventive care than Hispanics who have greater proficiency (DuBard & Gizlice, 2008; Flores & Tomany-Korman, 2008; Timmins, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the association between income, insurance status, acculturation, and preventive screening for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol in Mexican American adults living in El Paso, Texas. This is a secondary data analysis using data from El Paso, Texas, that was collected between November 2007 and May 2009. Bivariate and stepwise regression analysis was used to determine the relationships between income, insurance, and acculturation factors on preventive screenings. Findings indicate that insurance status was associated with blood pressure check, blood sugar check, cholesterol screening, and any preventive screening. The association for income $40,0001 was explained by insurance. The only significant acculturation variable was language use for cholesterol. Disparities in preventive health screening in Mexican Americans were associated with primary insurance coverage in El Paso, Texas. With the border region being among the most medically underserved and underinsured areas in the United States, the results from this study suggest policy efforts are essential to ensure equal access to resources to maintain good health. Intervention efforts may include increasing awareness of enrollment information for insurance programs through the Affordable Care Act.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Hispanic Health Care International
  • Source
    • "Sources of acculturation stress include language barriers, racism and discrimination , low socioeconomic status and income inequality, low perceived control over employment, separation from family , and fear of deportation (D'Alonzo, 2012). AL appears to increase dramatically among Latinos following immigration to the United States, concurrent with the onset of acculturation stress (Kaestner, Pearson, Keene, & Geronimus, 2009; Peeke et al., 2010). Immigrants with low levels of education who suffer from frustrated social expectations are more likely to continue to experience chronically high levels of acculturation stress than more highly educated immigrants over an indefinite period of time. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity and obesity-related illnesses is higher among Hispanics (Latinos) than other racial and ethnic groups, and rates increase exponentially with the number of years living in the United States. Mounting evidence suggests that the origins of many chronic illnesses among disadvantaged minority groups may lie with cumulative exposure to chronic psychological and physiological stressors through the biobehavioral process of allostatic load (AL). Among immigrant Latinos, acculturation stress may contribute to an increase in AL and thus may be an independent risk factor for the development of obesity and obesogenic illnesses. The purpose of this theoretical article is to present a proposed model of the effects of acculturation stress on AL and obesity among Latino immigrants. Such a model can be useful to guide intervention efforts to decrease obesity among immigrant Latinos by adding education, skill building, and social integration strategies to healthy eating and physical activity to reduce the deleterious impact of acculturation stress.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Biological Research for Nursing
Show more