Maternal experiences of ethnic discrimination and child cardiometabolic outcomes in the Study of Latino Youth

Ann Epidemiol. 2019 Jun:34:52-57. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2019.03.011. Epub 2019 Mar 28.


Purpose: Limited research has examined maternal experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination in relation to child cardiometabolic health. In this study, we investigated whether maternal experiences of ethnic discrimination were associated with cardiometabolic risk in Hispanic/Latino youth several years later.

Methods: Our sample included 1146 youth (8-16 years) from the Study of Latino Youth (2012-2014), who were children of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants (2008-2011). We used regression models to examine the prospective associations between maternal report of ethnic discrimination in relation to her child's body mass index (BMI) z-score, metabolic syndrome score (MetS), and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels 2 years later.

Results: Maternal ethnic discrimination was associated with youth hsCRP, but not BMI or MetS (P-values >.05). Adjusting for age, nativity, and national background, maternal ethnic discrimination was associated with higher (log) hsCRP levels (β = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.04 to 0.32) in children. This association was robust to adjustment for maternal and household characteristics (β = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.04 to 0.31), as well as maternal depression and maternal BMI.

Conclusions: Maternal ethnic discrimination is associated with inflammation among Hispanic/Latino youth, and not BMI z-score or MetS. Studies are needed to address temporality and pathways.

Keywords: Cardiometabolic health; Children; Discrimination; Study of Latino Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Racism / ethnology
  • Racism / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Discrimination / psychology*


  • C-Reactive Protein