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Ethn Dis. 2002 Winter;12(1):S1-72-82.

Diet- and blood pressure-related knowledge, attitudes, and hypertension prevalence among African Americans: the KDBP Study. Knowledge of Diet and Blood Pressure.

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  • 1Rho, Inc., Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514, USA.


Despite attempts to raise awareness of the effect lifestyle factors such as diet have on health, little is known about the results of such efforts among populations at highest risk for hypertension (HTN). The Knowledge of Diet and Blood Pressure (KDBP) Study investigated the relationship between diet- and blood pressure-related knowledge and HTN prevalence, and attitudes among a church-based population of African Americans. One hundred ninety-six adults were randomly selected from 6 churches in an urban area of North Carolina. After study criteria and missing data exclusions, the study sample comprised 179 individuals. A knowledge index assessed awareness of: the definition of HTN; its risk and prognostic factors; risk-preventing and risk-promoting nutrition; and related nutritional recommendations (score range: 0-100, 100 = most knowledgeable). Health attitudes were assessed primarily through Likert-type questions. HTN was defined as SBP > or = 140 mm Hg, DBP > or = 90 mm Hg, or anti hypertensive medication use. The mean SBP and DBP were 135.4 +/- 21.6 mm Hg and 78.8 +/- 15.7 mm Hg, respectively, and 55.9% of participants had HTN. The mean knowledge score was 76.1 (+/- 10.6). There was no statistically significant difference in mean knowledge score by HTN status (known HTN: 76.9 [+/- 11.31); unknown HTN (ie, the participant was unaware of the presence of HTN): 76.1 (+/- 9.3); no HTN: 75.3 (+/- 10.4), P = .665). Attitudes were not significantly related to knowledge and HTN prevalence, despite apparent trends. However, logistic regression analyses revealed that age, occupation, and church site were significant correlates of this relationship. Further exploration of attitudes and socioeconomic factors in assessing health awareness and HTN prevalence in this population is recommended.

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