Family Environment and the Metabolic Syndrome: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study (SCAS)

Ann Behav Med. 2015 Dec;49(6):793-801. doi: 10.1007/s12160-015-9713-4.


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Very limited work has evaluated associations of sociocultural processes with prevalence of the MetS.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate associations between family environment (cohesion/conflict) and the MetS, in a multi-site sample of US Hispanics/Latinos.

Methods: A total of 3278 participants from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos underwent a clinical exam and completed psychosocial measures including family environment (cohesion and conflict) as part of the Sociocultural Ancillary Study.

Results: The association between family environment and the MetS was moderated by sex. Among all women, higher family conflict was associated with MetS prevalence. Results by ancestry group showed that only among Cuban women, higher conflict was associated with the MetS, whereas only among Dominican men, greater cohesion was associated with the MetS.

Conclusions: The family context may be a sociocultural protective or risk factor among Hispanics/Latinos in terms of MetS risk, but these associations may vary by sex and Hispanic background.

Keywords: Cohesion; Conflict; Family environment; Hispanics-Latinos; Metabolic syndrome; Sex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Family Relations / psychology*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Environment*