Psychosocial Factors in the Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Cardiometabolic Risk: the HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study

Ann Behav Med. 2017 Aug;51(4):477-488. doi: 10.1007/s12160-016-9871-z.


Background: U.S. Hispanics/Latinos display a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), a group of co-occurring cardiometabolic risk factors (abdominal obesity, impaired fasting glucose, dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure) associated with higher cardiovascular disease and mortality risk. Low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with higher risk for MetSyn in Hispanics/Latinos, and psychosocial factors may play a role in this relationship.

Purpose: This cross-sectional study examined psychosocial factors in the association of SES and MetSyn components in 4,996 Hispanic/Latino adults from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study.

Methods: MetSyn components were measured at the baseline examination. Participants completed interviews to determine psychosocial risks (e.g., depression) and resources (e.g., social support) within 9 months of baseline (< 4 months in 72.6% of participants). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to identify latent constructs and examine associations.

Results: Participant mean age was 41.7 years (SE = 0.4) and 62.7% were female. CFA identified single latent factors for SES and psychosocial indicators, and three factors for MetSyn [blood pressure, lipids, metabolic factors]. SEMs showed that lower SES was related to MetSyn factors indirectly through higher psychosocial risk/lower resources (Y-Bχ2 (df = 420) = 4412.90, p < .05, RMSEA = .042, SRMR = .051). A statistically significant effect consistent with mediation was found from lower SES to higher metabolic risk (glucose/waist circumference) via psychosocial risk/resource variables (Mackinnon's 95% asymmetric CI = -0.13 to -0.02).

Conclusions: SES is related to metabolic variables indirectly through psychosocial factors in U.S. Hispanics/Latinos of diverse ancestries.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Hispanic; Latino; Metabolic syndrome; Psychosocial; Socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*
  • Social Support
  • United States / ethnology