Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Frey and colleagues outline 10 trends showing scale of America's demographic transitions

Starr says surveys intended to predict recidivism assign higher risk to poor

Prescott and colleagues find incidence of noncompetes in U.S. labor force varies by job, state, worker education

Highlights

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

Call for Proposals: Small Grants for Research Using PSID Data. Due March 2, 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 9
Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

Margaret Hicken photo

Black-white blood pressure disparities: depressive symptoms and differential vulnerability to blood lead

Publication Abstract

Hicken, Margaret, Gilbert Gee, Cathleen Connell, Rachel C. Snow, Jeffrey Morenoff, and Howard Hu. 2013. "Black-white blood pressure disparities: depressive symptoms and differential vulnerability to blood lead." Environmental Health Perspectives, 121(2): 205-9.

Background: Blacks have higher hypertension rates than whites, but the reasons for these disparities are unknown. Differential vulnerability, through which stress alters vulnerability to the effects of environmental hazards, is an emergent notion in environmental health that may contribute to these disparities.Objectives: We examined whether blacks and whites exhibit different associations between blood lead (BPb) and blood pressure (BP) and whether depressive symptoms may play a role.Methods: Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2008, we regressed BP on the three-way interaction among race/ethnicity, BPb, and depressive symptoms in blacks and whites >/= 20 years of age.Results: Blacks but not whites showed a positive association between BPb and systolic blood pressure (SBP). The disparity in this association between blacks and whites appeared to be specific to the high depressive symptoms group. In the low depressive symptoms group, there was no significant black-white disparity (betainteraction = 0.9 mmHg; 95% CI: -0.9, 2.7). However, of those with high depressive symptoms, blacks and whites had 5.6 mmHg (95% CI: 2.0, 9.2) and 1.2 mmHg (95% CI: -0.5, 2.9) increases in SBP, respectively, in association with each doubling of BPb (betainteraction = 4.4 mmHg; 95% CI: 0.5, 8.3). The pattern of results was similar for diastolic blood pressure.Conclusions: Our results suggest that depressive symptoms may contribute to the black-white disparity in the association between BPb and BP. Depressive symptoms may result, in part, from psychosocial stress. Our results support the notion that stress increases vulnerability to the health effects of environmental hazards and suggest that stress-related vulnerability may be an important determinant of racial/ethnic health disparities.

DOI:10.1289/ehp.1104517 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3569674. (Pub Med Central)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next