Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Objective. To examine the prevalence of and the association between comorbid disorders and race/ethnicity in the United States.

Methods. Using cross-sectional data from the 2012 National Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [N=45,207,844], we examined comorbidity of psychological distress with self-reported diagnosis of diabetes, angina, and with history of heart attack and stroke. Logistic regression was used to examine between group differences by race/ethnicity.

Results. Unadjusted results indicate that American Indian [OR 4.01, 95%CI: 1.78, 9.04] and Hispanic [OR 1.55, 95%CI: 1.04, 2.33] participants were more likely to have psychological distress and history of heart attack in comparison to Whites. American Indians were more likely to have psychological distress with angina [OR 3.82, 95%CI: 1.92, 7.63], and with history of stroke [OR 4.25, 95%CI: 2.16-8.26] in unadjusted results when compared to White participants.

Conclusions. Our results suggest that racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to suffer from comorbid mental health and medical conditions, which may be a result of stress arising from discrimination and historical oppression of these populations.