Evidence suggests that subjective (perceived) social status (SSS) may predict health outcomes more strongly than objective social status, but little is known about the relationship between SSS and cardiovascular health (CVH). This study focuses on this relationship among diverse Hispanic/Latino adults because while poor CVH profiles are prevalent in this population, immigration complicates attempts to measure their social status.
Methods and Results
We analyzed baseline HCHS/SOL (Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos) data on 15 374 Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18 to 74 years in 2008 to 2011. SSS was assessed using the McArthur Scale, a 10‐rung “social ladder.” CVH was based on levels of 7 metrics defined by the American Heart Association. Linear and logistic regressions were used to examine cross‐sectional associations of SSS with CVH (overall and single metrics) after adjusting for objective social status, demographic, and health factors. Less than half of the population (46%) had Ideal scores in ≥4 metrics of CVH. In multivariable‐adjusted models, an increase in SSS was associated with a higher overall CVH score (β=0.04; 95% CI, 0.01–0.06) and greater likelihood of Ideal levels of body mass index, physical activity, and fasting blood glucose levels. Nativity and time in the United States modified the association between SSS and Ideal smoking.
Subjective measures of social status can enhance an understanding of CVH among Hispanic/Latino people. Future studies should explore the stability of SSS over time in comparison with objective social status and the mechanisms through which SSS may influence CVH.