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Author Notes:

Correspondence: David H. Chae, Sc.D., Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Room 512, Atlanta, GA 30309; Ph: +1 404 7278226; Fax: +1 404 727 1369; Email: david.chae@emory.edu


Research Funding:

The National Survey of American Life is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; grant U01-MH57716; P.I.: J.S. Jackson) with supplemental support from the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Michigan.


  • Black Americans
  • cardiovascular disease
  • mood disorders
  • racial discrimination

Racial Discrimination, Mood Disorders, and Cardiovascular Disease Among Black Americans


Journal Title:

Annals of Epidemiology


Volume 22, Number 2


, Pages 104-111

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Purpose This study examines associations between racial discrimination, mood disorders, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Black Americans. Methods Weighted logistic regression analyses on a nationally representative sample of Black Americans (n = 5022) in the National Survey of American Life (NSAL; 2001–2003). Racial discrimination and CVD were assessed via self-report. Mood disorder was measured using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Results Model-adjusted risk ratios (RR) revealed that participants with a history of mood disorder had greater CVD risk (RR = 1.28 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12, 1.45). This relationship was found specifically among those younger than 50 years of age (RR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.27, 1.91). There was a significant interaction between racial discrimination and mood disorder in predicting CVD in the total (F = 2.86, 3 df, p = 0.047) and younger sample (F = 2.98, 3 df, p = 0.047). Participants with a history of mood disorder who reported high levels of racial discrimination had the greatest CVD risk. Conclusions The association between racial discrimination and CVD is moderated by history of mood disorder. Future studies may examine pathways through which racial discrimination and mood disorders impact CVD risk among Black Americans.

Copyright information:

© 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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