BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of cardiovascular risk factors including elevated blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, impaired fasting glucose, and abdominal obesity, which disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos. The present study examined associations between perceived discrimination and MetS in Hispanic/Latino adults from various background groups (i.e., Dominican, Central American, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American).
METHODS: Data were obtained from 5174 Hispanics/Latinos who participated in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study. MetS components and covariates were measured at a baseline examination, and perceived discrimination was assessed within 9 months of baseline. Path analysis modeled associations of perceived discrimination with MetS prevalence and each of the six components of MetS, controlling for age, sex, income, acculturation, physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol use.
RESULTS: Among the full cohort, perceived discrimination was not associated with MetS prevalence in any of the models evaluated. Higher perceived discrimination at work/school was associated with larger waist circumference. When examining background groups separately, higher perceived ethnicity-associated threat was related to increased MetS prevalence only among individuals of Central American background. Differential patterns of association between perceived discrimination and MetS components were found for different background groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall results suggested that perceived discrimination was not strongly or consistently associated with MetS among Hispanics/Latinos.