Race, Ethnicity, and Self-Reported Hypertension

Analysis of Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 1997-2005

In this study, the author estimated the association between race and self-reported hypertension among Hispanics and non-Hispanics and determined whether this association was stronger among non-Hispanics. Using data from the 1997–2005 National Health Interview Survey, the study used logistic regression to estimate the strength of the association between race/ethnicity and self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults. The overall prevalence of self-reported hypertension was 24.5 percent, with lower prevalence among Hispanics (16.7%) than among non-Hispanics (25.2%). African Americans, regardless of ethnicity, had the highest prevalence. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks had 48 percent greater odds of reporting hypertension; Hispanic Whites had 23 percent lower odds. There was no difference in the strength of the association between race and self-reported hypertension observed among non-Hispanics and among Hispanics.

The author concluded that previously reported hypertension advantage of Hispanics holds for Hispanic Whites only. As Hispanics continue their rapid growth in the United States, race may have important implications on their disease burden, because most U.S. health disparities are driven by race and its socially patterned experiences.