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Deportation Worry, Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Trajectories, and Incident Hypertension: A Community‐Based Cohort Study


Background Worry about deportation has been associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors in cross-sectional research. No research has evaluated this association longitudinally or examined the association between deportation worry and incident cardiovascular disease outcomes. Methods and Results We used data from an ongoing community-based cohort of 572 women primarily of Mexican origin. We estimated associations between self-reported deportation worry and: (1) trajectories of blood pressure, body mass index, and waist circumference with linear mixed models, and (2) incident hypertension with Cox proportional hazards models. Nearly half (48%) of women reported "a lot," 24% reported "moderate," and 28% reported "not too much" deportation worry. Higher worry at baseline was associated with nonlinear systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure trajectories. For example, compared with not too much worry, a lot of worry was associated with a faster initial increase (β, interaction with linear year term: 4.10; 95% CI, 1.17-7.03) followed by a faster decrease in systolic blood pressure (β, interaction with quadratic year term: -0.80; 95% CI, -1.55 to -0.06). There was weak evidence of an association between deportation worry and diastolic blood pressure and no association with body mass index, waist circumference, or pulse pressure trajectories. Among 408 women without baseline hypertension, reporting a lot (hazard ratio, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.15-4.10) and moderate deportation worry (hazard ratio, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.17-4.30) were each associated with greater risk of incident hypertension compared with reporting not too much worry. Conclusions Deportation worry may contribute to widening disparities in some cardiovascular disease risk factors and outcomes over time.

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