Construction of life-course occupational trajectories: evidence for work as a mediator of racial disparities in hypertension

J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Oct;54(10):1201-7. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31826bb6ac.


Objective: To determine whether a life-course model of work may explain racial or ethnic differentials in health. Occupational characteristics are relevant socioeconomic indicators of health disparities and essential determinants of health.

Methods: Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to construct longitudinal trajectories of work characteristics from the ages of 20 to 32 years. Path analyses were used to evaluate the association of race, ethnicity, education, and work trajectory on incident hypertension.

Results: Growth mixture modeling yielded three latent class trajectories. Black subjects with postsecondary education were 2.5 times more likely to be found in the lowest occupational trajectory. The three-class trajectory model mediated 43.6% of the direct effect of race on incident hypertension.

Conclusions: Latent class trajectories of work demonstrated a stronger association with incident hypertension than did measures of current work, and clearly mediated the effects of race on hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Risk Factors
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult