185483 Race, gender, and hypertension among low-income adults in west Tennessee

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marino Bruce, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH , School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC
Mario Sims, PhD , University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Tony Brown, PhD , Sociology Department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Isabel C. Scarinci, PhD, MPH , Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Marian Ladipo, MPH , Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
BACKGROUND: The apparent links between race, gender, and hypertension have been widely recognized as scientists often use race or gender as independent variables in prevalence studies. As such, it has been difficult to determine whether environmental, psychosocial, behavioral, and health status measures are related to hypertension in the same way for all racial groups. This study examined the extent to which factors correlated with hypertension vary across four race-and gender-specific groups.

METHODS: This study used surveillance data collected over two years (2001-2002) from individuals attending primary care clinics in Shelby County, Tennessee to estimate pooled and group-specific regression models. The primary dependent variable was a self-report measure of hypertension drawn from a survey item asking respondents if they had ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Independent variables included socioeconomic, psychosocial, health behavior, and health status measures generally thought to be associated with hypertension.

RESULTS: The pooled analysis indicated that hypertension status was associated with a number of the demographic, health behavior, and health status factors. However, once race- and gender-specific models were estimated, the results showed that the factors associated with hypertension varied considerably for black men, white men, black women, and white women. The group-specific regression models revealed and disentangled important correlations not observed in the pooled model.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that addressing racial disparities in blood pressure-related outcomes requires health practitioners to modify prevention and treatment efforts to incorporate a broader array of factors inherent to specific racial and gender populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. To present models demonstrating how race, class, and gender interact to impact health outcomes. 2. To identify factors associated with hypertension among specific racial and gender populations with low incomes.

Keywords: Social Class, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I possess the requisite knowledge and expertise of the subject matter content which was acquired through formal education at Saint Louis University and Rust College. Knowledge and expertise was also acquired through work experience at Meharry Medical College where I have served as an epidemiologist and coordinator on this and various other projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.