Impact of change over time in self-reported discrimination on blood pressure: implications for inequities in cardiovascular risk for a multi-racial urban community

Alana M.W. LeBrón, Amy J. Schulz, Graciela Mentz, Angela G. Reyes, Cindy Gamboa, Barbara A. Israel, Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes, James S. House

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The 21st century has seen a rise in racism and xenophobia in the United States. Few studies have examined the health implications of heightened institutional and interpersonal racism. This study examines changes in reported discrimination and associations with blood pressure over time among non-Latino Blacks (NLBs), Latinos, and non-Latino Whites (NLWs) in an urban area, and variations by nativity among Latinos. Design: Data from a probability sample of NLB, Latino, and NLW Detroit, Michigan residents were collected in 2002–2003, with follow-up at the same addresses in 2007–2008. Surveys were completed at 80% of eligible housing units in 2008 (n = 460). Of those, 219 participants were interviewed at both time points and were thus included in this analysis. Discrimination patterns across racial/ethnic groups and associations with blood pressure were examined using generalized estimating equations. Results: From 2002 to 2008, NLBs and Latinos reported heightened interpersonal and institutional discrimination, respectively, compared with NLWs. There were no differences in associations between interpersonal discrimination and blood pressure. Increased institutional discrimination was associated with stronger increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure for NLBs than NLWs, with no differences between Latinos and NLWs. Latino immigrants experienced greater increases in blood pressure with increased interpersonal and institutional discrimination compared to US-born Latinos. Conclusions: Together, these findings suggest that NLBs and Latinos experienced heightened discrimination from 2002 to 2008, and that increases in institutional discrimination were more strongly associated with blood pressure elevation among NLBs and Latino immigrants compared to NLWs and US-born Latinos, respectively. These findings suggest recent increases in discrimination experienced by NLBs and Latinos, and that these increases may exacerbate racial/ethnic health inequities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Discrimination
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular risk
  • health disparities
  • health inequities
  • immigrant
  • immigration policy
  • non-Hispanic Black
  • non-Hispanic White
  • non-Latino Black
  • non-Latino White

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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