Introduction: The objective of this study is to examine how allostatic load, a multidimensional measure of the body's cumulative response to stressors experienced throughout the life course, has changed over time and by age among U.S.- and foreign-born Whites, Blacks, and Latinx. Methods: Data were from 26,818 adult participants in the 2005–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a national repeated cross-sectional study. Allostatic load was measured based on 10 indicators of cardiovascular, metabolic, and immunologic risk. The analyses were conducted in March 2020. Results: Allostatic load increased over time across all groups. The difference between the first and last survey cycle was greatest among U.S.-born Black women (from 2.74 in 2005–2006 to 3.02 in 2017–2018), U.S.-born Latino men (from 2.69 to 3.09) and foreign-born Latino men (from 2.58 to 2.87). Aging gradients in allostatic load were steepest among foreign-born Blacks of both genders and foreign-born Latina women and flattest among U.S.-born and foreign-born Whites. Conclusions: Chronic exposure to stressors leads to an erosion of health that is particularly severe among foreign-born Blacks and Latinx. Policies should seek to reduce exposure to structural and environmental risks and to ensure equitable opportunities to achieve optimal health among racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health