Race, Social and Environmental Conditions, and Health Behaviors in Men

Roland J. Thorpe, Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce, Kisha Coa, Caryn N. Bell, Jessica Young, Janice V. Bowie, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although understanding race differences in health behaviors among men is an important step in reducing disparities in leading causes of death in the United States, progress has been stifled when using national data because of the confounding of race, socioeconomic status, and residential segregation. The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of disparities in health behaviors among African American and white men in the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study-Southwest Baltimore, which was conducted in a racially integrated neighborhood of Baltimore to data from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey. After adjusting for age, marital status, insurance, income, educational attainment, poor or fair health, and obesity status, African American men in National Health Interview Survey had greater odds of being physically inactive (odds ratio [OR] = 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 129-1.69), reduced odds of being a current smoker (OR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65-0.90), and reduced odds of being a current drinker (OR = 0.58; 95% CI, 0.50-0.67). In the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study-Southwest Baltimore sample, African American and white men had similar odds of being physically inactive (OR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.24), being a current smoker (OR = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.60-1.23), or being a current drinker (OR = 1.34; 95% CI, 0.81-2.21). Because race disparities in these health behaviors were ameliorated in the sample where African American and white men were living under similar social, environmental, and socioeconomic status conditions, these findings suggest that social environment may be an important determinant of health behaviors among African American and white men. Public health interventions and health promotion strategies should consider the social environment when seeking to better understand men's health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalFamily and Community Health
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015

Keywords

  • African American
  • health behaviors
  • health disparities
  • segregation
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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