Relational and individual stress pathways linking discrimination and ageing cardiometabolic health

Sarah B. Woods, Chance Strenth, Philip Day, Tenzin Tsewang, Kimberly Aparicio, Kristin Ross, Joseph Ventimiglia, Zaiba Jetpuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Perceived discrimination is a significant risk factor for worse ageing health outcomes. Yet, the specific individual and relational stress pathways linking discrimination to disease are less understood, especially in the context of cardiometabolic health. We tested family stress and psychophysiological distress (negative affect and high-risk lipid/fat metabolism) as mediators linking perceived discrimination to cardiometabolic morbidity and health appraisal over 20 years for midlife adults. Using data from participants who completed the Biomarker Project (2004–2009) of the Midlife in the U.S. project, and examining data over the study's three waves (1995–1996, 2004–2006, and 2013–2014), we used structural equation modelling to test pathways for participants who reported zero cardiometabolic conditions at baseline (n = 799). Greater Time 1 discrimination was associated with greater Time 2 family strain, which was in turn associated with worse negative affect; worse Time 2 negative affect was associated with worse Time 3 health appraisal; metabolic lipids risk did not serve as an indirect pathway to Time 3 cardiometabolic morbidity (χ2 = 147.74, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.056; CFI = 0.902; SRMR = 0.047). The inclusion of family in interventions to mitigate the impact of discrimination may be indicated for promoting cardiometabolic wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalStress and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • ageing
  • family relations
  • glucose metabolism disorders
  • heart diseases
  • lipid metabolism
  • social discrimination
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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