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Ethn Dis. 2014 Spring;24(2):162-8.

Weight-based discrimination and medication adherence among low-income African Americans with hypertension: how much of the association is mediated by self-efficacy?



Much of the excessive morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease among African Americans results from low adherence to anti-hypertensive medications. Therefore, we examined the association between weight-based discrimination and medication adherence.


We used cross-sectional data from low-income African Americans with hypertension. Ordinal logistic regression estimated the odds of medication non-adherence in relation to weight-based discrimination adjusted for age, sex, education, income, and weight.


Of all participants (n = 780), the mean (SD) age was 53.7 (9.9) years and the mean (SD) weight was 210.1 (52.8) lbs. Reports of weight-based discrimination were frequent (28.2%). Weight-based discrimination (but not weight itself) was associated with medication non-adherence (OR: 1.94; 95% CI: 1.41-2.67). A substantial portion 38.9% (95% CI: 19.0%-79.0%) of the association between weight-based discrimination and medication non-adherence was mediated by medication self-efficacy.


Self-efficacy is a potential explanatory factor for the association between reported weight-based discrimination and medication non-adherence. Future research should develop and test interventions to prevent weight-based discrimination at the societal, provider, and institutional levels.

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