Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 967518, 8 pages
Research Article

Impact of Comorbidities on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hypertension in the United States

1American Health Research Institute, Heights Medical Tower, 427 West 20th Street, Suite 770, Houston, TX 77008, USA
2Health Sciences Department, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
3Priority Women’s Health Alliance, Houston, TX 77015, USA
4Nemours. A.I. dupont Hospital for Children, Health Equity & Inclusion Office, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA

Received 25 October 2012; Accepted 15 November 2012

Academic Editors: W. Kirch and I. Szadkowska-Stanczyk

Copyright © 2013 Franklin Opara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension (HTN) prevalence continue to persist in United States. We aimed in this study to examine the racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension prevalence and to determine whether or not health disparities may be explained by racial/ethnic disparities in co-morbidities. Materials and Methods. A cross-sectional design was used to examine the prevalence of hypertension among African Americans (AAs), Caucasians, and Hispanics in the National Health Interview Survey, 2003. The overall sample comprised 30, 852 adults. Results. There was a statistically significant racial/ethnic variability in hypertension prevalence, with AA/Blacks with the highest prevalence, (3), . Hypertension was associated with co-morbidities, age, education, physical inactivity, marital status, income, sex, alcohol, and cigarette consumption, but not insurance. Relative to Caucasians, AAA/Blacks were 43% more likely while Hispanics were 40% less likely to report being diagnosed with high blood pressure, prevalence odds ratio (POR)  =  1.43, 99% CI, 1.25–1.64, , and POR  =  0.60, 99% CI, 0.55–0.66, respectively. After adjustment for the relevant covariates including co-morbidities, racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension persisted; thus compared to Caucasians, African Americans were 61% more likely to be told by their health care providers that they were hypertensive, adjusted prevalence odds ratio (APOR)  =  1.61, 99% CI, 1.39–1.86, . In contrast, Hispanics were 27% less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension compared to Caucasians, APOR  =  0.73, 99% CI, 0.68–0.79, . Conclusions. There was racial/ethnic variability in hypertension prevalence in this large sample of non-institutionalized US residents, with the highest prevalence of hypertension observed among African Americans. These disparities were not removed after controlling for relevant covariates including co-morbidities.