The Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Allostatic Load Among Puerto Ricans: Results From the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study

Adolfo Cuevas, Tufts University
Kaipeng Wang , Texas State University
David Williams, Harvard School of Public Health
Josiemer Mattei, Harvard School of Public Health
Katherine Tucker, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Luis Falcon, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Perceived discrimination is a risk factor for poor health among ethnic and racial minority groups. However, few studies have examined the association between perceived discrimination and allostatic load (AL), a pre-clinical indicator of disease. Using primarily Wave 2 data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, we examined the association between major and everyday perceived discrimination and AL among 822 Puerto Ricans residing in the Boston metro area. We used multiple regression and adjusted for demographic factors, socioeconomic status, work history, health behaviors, and depressive symptomatology. Results indicate that major perceived discrimination was associated with greater AL, whereas greater everyday perceived discrimination was marginally associated with lower AL. Perceived discrimination remains a common stressor and may be a determinant of AL for Puerto Ricans. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanism through which major and everyday perceived discrimination affect physiological systems among Puerto Ricans.

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 Presented in Session 76. Flash Session: Unpacking Associations Between Race/Ethnicity and Health