Using Allostatic Load to Validate Self-rated Health for Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States

Alexis Santos, Jeffrey T. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study evaluates the validity of subjective health measurement for racial/ethnic comparisons in the United States, by assessing whether allostatic load (AL) is equally associated with poor/fair self-rated health (SRH) for different racial/ethnic groups. This study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) for 2006–2010. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit and stratified by race/ethnicity to study the association between AL and poor/fair SRH. Higher levels of AL were associated with higher odds of reporting poor/fair SRH. However, this association differs by race/ethnicity. Analysis of interactions and racial/ethnic-stratified models suggest that AL is less associated with poor/fair SRH status for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics populations. These results demonstrate that subjective health ratings potentially underestimate actual measures of biological health risk, especially for racial/ethnic minorities. As a result, population-based assessments of racial/ethnic health disparities based on SRH may be significantly understated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

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Allostasis
ethnic group
nationalities and ethnic groups
Ethnic Groups
Health
health
Diagnostic Self Evaluation
Nutrition Surveys
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
ethnicity
national surveys
Logistic Models
health status
health and nutrition
ethnic minority
Health Surveys
Hispanic Americans
Population
Health Status
health risk

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics

Cite this

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Using Allostatic Load to Validate Self-rated Health for Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States. / Santos, Alexis; Howard, Jeffrey T.

In: Biodemography and Social Biology, Vol. 64, No. 1, 02.01.2018, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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