OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between wealth and cardiovascular disease risk factors among Hispanic/Latinos of diverse backgrounds.
DESIGN: This cross-sectional study used data from 4971 Hispanic/Latinos, 18-74 years, who participated in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) baseline exam and the HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study. Three objectively measured cardiovascular disease risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) were included. Wealth was measured using an adapted version of the Home Affluence Scale, which included questions regarding the ownership of a home, cars, computers, and recent vacations.
RESULTS: After adjusting for traditional socioeconomic indicators (income, employment, education), and other covariates, we found that wealth was not associated with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or obesity. Analyses by sex showed that middle-wealth women were less likely to have hypercholesterolemia or obesity. Analyses by Hispanic/Latino background groups showed that while wealthier Central Americans were less likely to have obesity, wealthier Puerto Ricans were more likely to have obesity.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study to explore the relationship between wealth and health among Hispanic/Latinos of diverse backgrounds, finding only partial evidence of this association. Future studies should utilize more robust measures of wealth, and address mechanisms by which wealth may impact health status among Hispanic/Latinos of diverse backgrounds in longitudinal designs.