Association of socioeconomic status with ideal cardiovascular health in black men

Rosevine A. Azap, Timiya S. Nolan, Darrell M. Gray, Kiwan Lawson, John Gregory, Quinn Capers, James B. Odei, Joshua J. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Black men are burdened by high cardiovascular risk and the highest all-cause mortality rate in the United States. Socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with improved cardiovascular risk factors in majority populations, but there is a paucity of data in Black men. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined the association of SES measures including educational attainment, annual income, employment status, and health insurance status with an ideal cardiovascular health (ICH) score, which included blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, body mass index, physical activity, and smoking in African American Male Wellness Walks. Six metrics of ICH were categorized into a 3-tiered ICH score 0 to 2, 3 to 4, and 5 to 6. Multinomial logistic regression modeling was performed to examine the association of SES measures with ICH scores adjusted for age. Among 1444 men, 7% attained 5 to 6 ICH metrics. Annual income <$20 000 was associated with a 56% lower odds of attaining 3 to 4 versus 0 to 2 ICH components compared with ≥$75 000 (P=0.016). Medicare and no insurance were associated with a 39% and 35% lower odds of 3 to 4 versus 0 to 2 ICH components, respectively, compared with private insurance (all P<0.05). Education and employment status were not associated with higher attainment of ICH in Black men. CONCLUSIONS: Among community-dwelling Black men, higher attainment of measures of SES showed mixed associations with greater attainment of ICH. The lack of association of higher levels of educational attainment and employment status with ICH suggests that in order to address the long–standing health inequities that affect Black men, strategies to increase attainment of cardiovascular health may need to address additional components beyond SES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere020184
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 7 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Black Americans
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Education
  • Health equity
  • Income
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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