Racial Disparities in Health among College Educated African-Americans: Can HBCU Attendance Reduce the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Midlife?

Citation

Colen, Cynthia G.; Pinchak, Nicolo P.; & Barnett, Kierra S. (2020). Racial Disparities in Health among College Educated African-Americans: Can HBCU Attendance Reduce the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Midlife?. American Journal of Epidemiology.

Abstract

We expand on existing understandings of health disparities among middle-class African-Americans by examining how the postsecondary educational context gives rise to the unequal distribution of health. We use panel data (1994-2009) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to estimate if the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by midlife significantly differs for African-Americans who attended Historically Black College or Universities (HBCUs) vs. predominantly White institutions (PWIs). We find that HBCU enrollment is associated with a 35% reduction in the odds of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HBCU attendees who grew up in more segregated environments experienced the greatest reductions in the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome. Our results underscore the important role that HBCUs play in the lives of African-Americans and suggest their impacts go far beyond traditional benchmarks of socioeconomic achievement to include key health outcomes.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa245

Keyword(s)

Health disparities

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

American Journal of Epidemiology

Author(s)

Colen, Cynthia G.
Pinchak, Nicolo P.
Barnett, Kierra S.

Year Published

2020

DOI

10.1093/aje/kwaa245

Reference ID

6029