Demographic and Socioeconomic Determinants of Physical and Mental Self-rated Health Across 10 Ethnic Groups in the United States

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, USA

2 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of this study was to explore ethnic differences in demographic and socioeconomic determinants of poor physical and mental self-rated health (SRH) in the United States. Methods: We used data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) 2001- 2003, which included a national household probability sample of 18237 individuals including 520 Vietnamese, 508 Filipino, 600 Chinese, 656 other Asian, 577 Cuban, 495 Puerto Rican, 1442 Mexican, 1106 other Hispanic, 4746 African American, and 7587 non-Latino Whites. Demographic factors (age and gender), socioeconomic factors (education and income), body mass index (BMI), and physical and mental SRH were measured. Pearson correlation was used to explore correlates of physical and mental SRH across ethnic groups. Results: While age was positively associated with poor physical SRH, ethnic groups differed in the effect of age on mental SRH. Age was positively associated with mental SRH among Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and African American individuals, but this was not so for other Asians, Mexicans, other Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites. Chinese and Cubans were the only groups where female gender was associated with poor physical and mental SRH. With other Asians being an exception, education and income were protective against poor physical and mental SRH in all ethnic groups. Ethnic groups also differed in how their mental and physical SRH reflect BMI. Conclusion: Demographic and socioeconomic determinants of physical and mental SRH vary across ethnic groups. Poor physical and mental SRH are differently shaped by social determinants across ethnic groups. These ethnic differences may cause bias in health measurement in ethnically diverse populations.

Keywords

Main Subjects


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