Taking It to Heart: Preliminary Investigation on the Cardiovascular Effects of Racial/Ethnic Microaggressions in Latinx

*Corresponding author: James J. García*, Dylan G. Serpas and Yaritza Torres

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original research

Abstract

Background

Microaggressions — as a cumulative psychosocial stressor — may be a unique mechanism in the development of cardiovascular diseases, via transient changes in cardiovascular reactivity (CVR), for Latinx.

Method

Experimental study with Latinx college students (n=33) randomly assigned to either a microinsult, microinvalidation, or control condition. Independent variables for MANOVA/MANCOVAs were the study conditions and dependent variables were blood pressure (BP) and impedance cardiography (ICG) indicators.

Results

At baseline, two one-way MANOVAs showed no differences by condition for BP or ICG indicators. For the manipulation, results indicated no significant differences by condition for BP or ICG indices. During recovery, results demonstrated no significant differences by condition in BP or ICG indicators. Lastly, baseline experiences of microaggressions were not significantly associated with BP and ICG at recovery.

Conclusion

The experimental manipulation produced no significant difference in CVR by condition. Inferiority and second-class citizen microaggressions were not significantly associated with CVR at recovery. Findings do not negate the existence or cardiovascular impact of microaggressions; rather, these effects appear to be subtle. Implications for Latinx cardiovascular health are discussed.

Keywords

Blood pressure (BP); Impedance cardiography; Cardiovascular reactivity; Latinx; Racial/ethnic microaggressions;

Cardiovascular health disparities.