Black, White, Black and White : Mixed race and health in Canada Veenstra, Gerry
Objectives: To document inequalities in hypertension, self-rated health, and self-rated mental health between Canadian adults who identify as Black, White, or Black and White and determine whether differences in educational attainment and household income explain them. Design: The dataset was comprised of ten cycles (2001-2013) of the Canadian Community Health Survey. The health inequalities were examined by way of binary logistic regression modelling of hypertension and multinomial logistic regression modelling of self-rated health and self-rated mental health. Educational attainment and household income were investigated as potentially mediating factors using nested models and the Karlson-Holm-Breen decomposition technique. Results: Black respondents were significantly more likely than White respondents to report hypertension, a disparity that was partly attributable to differences in income. White respondents reported the best and Black respondents reported the worst overall self-rated health, a disparity that was entirely attributable to income differences. Respondents who identified as both Black and White were significantly more likely than White respondents to report fair or poor mental health, a disparity that was partly attributable to income differences. After controlling for income, Black respondents were significantly less likely than White respondents to report fair or poor mental health. Educational attainment did not contribute to explaining any of these associations. Conclusion: Canadians who identify as both Black and White fall between Black Canadians and White Canadians in regards to self-rated overall health, report the worst self-rated mental health of the three populations, and, with White Canadians, are less likely than Black Canadians to report hypertension. These heterogeneous findings are indicative of a range of diverse processes operative in the production of Black-White health inequalities in Canada.
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