Association of Unfavorable Social Determinants of Health With Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attack and Vascular Risk Factors in Hispanic/Latino Adults: Results From Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

J Stroke. 2023 Sep;25(3):361-370. doi: 10.5853/jos.2023.00626. Epub 2023 Aug 10.


Background and purpose: Social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that may contribute to the development of diseases, with a higher representation in underserved populations. Our objective is to determine the association of unfavorable SDOH with self-reported stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) and vascular risk factors (VRFs) among Hispanic/Latino adults living in the US.

Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. SDOH and VRFs were assessed using questionnaires and validated scales and measurements. We investigated the association between the SDOH (individually and as count: ≤1, 2, 3, 4, or ≥5 SDOH), VRFs and stroke/TIA using regression analyses.

Results: For individuals with stroke/TIA (n=388), the mean age (58.9 years) differed from those without stroke/TIA (n=11,210; 46.8 years; P<0.0001). In bivariate analysis, income <$20,000, education less than high school, no health insurance, perceived discrimination, not currently employed, upper tertile for chronic stress, and lower tertiles for social support and language- and social-based acculturation were associated with stroke/TIA and retained further. A higher number of SDOH was directly associated with all individual VRFs investigated, except for at-risk alcohol, and with number of VRFs (β=0.11, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.09-0.14). In the fully adjusted model, income, discrimination, social support, chronic stress, and employment status were individually associated with stroke/TIA; the odds of stroke/TIA were 2.3 times higher in individuals with 3 SDOH (95% CI 1.6-3.2) and 2.7 times (95% CI 1.9-3.7) for those with ≥5 versus ≤1 SDOH.

Conclusion: Among Hispanic/Latino adults, a higher number of SDOH is associated with increased odds for stroke/TIA and VRFs. The association remained significant after adjustment for VRFs, suggesting involvement of non-vascular mechanisms.

Keywords: Social determinant of health; Stroke; Vascular risk factors.