Using Allostatic Load to Explore the Latino Health Puzzle for Hispanics in the United States

Alexis Santos-Lozada , Pennsylvania State University
Jeffrey Howard, University of Texas at San Antonio

This study evaluates the consistency of subjective health measurement for Hispanics in the United States, by assessing whether allostatic load scores (AL) are equally associated with poor/fair self-rated health (SRH) those who answer surveys in different languages (languages). This study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) for 2009–2010. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit and stratified by language 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 language. Analysis of interactions and stratified models suggest that AL is less associated with health status for those answering in Spanish. These results demonstrate that health ratings do not correspond to biological risk profiles for Hispanics who answer in Spanish, as much as for English respondents. As a result, population-based assessments of Hispanic disparities based on SRH may be significantly biased.

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 Presented in Session 34. Biodemography, Health, and Mortality