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Perceived Discrimination is Associated with Health Behaviors among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study*
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  • Description:

    Using Jackson Heart Study data, we examined associations of multiple measures of perceived discrimination with health behaviors among African Americans (AA).


    The cross-sectional associations of everyday, lifetime, and burden of discrimination with odds of smoking and mean differences in physical activity, dietary fat, and sleep were examined among 4,939 35–84 year old participants after adjustment for age and socioeconomic status (SES).


    Men reported slightly higher levels of everyday and lifetime discrimination than women and similar levels of burden of discrimination as women. After adjustment for age and SES, everyday discrimination was associated with more smoking and a greater percentage of dietary fat in men and women (OR for smoking: 1.13, 95%CI 1.00,1.28 and 1.19, 95%CI 1.05,1.34; mean difference in dietary fat: 0.37, p<.05 and 0.43, p<.01, in men and women, respectively). Everyday and lifetime discrimination were associated with fewer hours of sleep in men and women (mean difference for everyday discrimination: −0.08, p<.05 and −0.18, p<.001, respectively; and mean difference for lifetime discrimination: −0.08, p<.05, and −0.24, p<.001, respectively). Burden of discrimination was associated with more smoking and fewer hours of sleep in women only.


    Higher levels of perceived discrimination were associated with select health behaviors among men and women. Health behaviors offer a potential mechanism through which perceived discrimination affects health in AA.

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  • Funding:
    HHSN268201300046C/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    HHSN268201300047C/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    HHSN268201300049C/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    HHSN268201300050C/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    K01 HL08468-05/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    K01 HL084682/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
    P60 MD002249/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    P60MD002249/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    R25 MH083620/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
    U01 PS003315/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
    U54 MD008176/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    U54MD008176/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
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