Changes in Waist Circumference and Body Mass Index in the US CARDIA Cohort: Fixed-Effects Associations with Self-Reported Experiences of Racial/Ethnic Discrimination
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Medical Subject Headings
Prejudice; Epidemiologic Factors; Body Mass Index; Waist Circumference
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Race and Ethnicity
Prior studies examining the association between self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination and obesity have had mixed results and primarily been cross-sectional. This study tests the hypothesis that an increase in self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination predicts gains in waist circumference and body mass index in Black and White women and men over eight years. In race/ethnicity- and gender-stratified models, this study examined whether change in self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination predicts changes in waist circumference and body mass index over time using a fixed-effects regression approach in SAS statistical software, providing control for both measured and unmeasured time-invariant covariates. Between 1992-93 and 2000-01, self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination decreased among 843 Black women (75% to 73%), 601 Black men (80% to 77%), 893 White women (30% to 23%) and 856 White men (28% to 23%). In fixed-effects regression models, controlling for all time-invariant covariates, social desirability bias, and changes in education and parity (women only) over time, an increase in self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination over time was significantly associated with an increase in waist circumference (beta=1.09, 95% CI: 0.00-2.19, p=0.05) and an increase in body mass index (beta=0.67, 95% CI: 0.19-1.16, p=0.007) among Black women. No associations were observed among Black men and White women and men. These findings suggest that an increase in self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination may be associated with increases in waist circumference and body mass index among Black women over time.