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Ethn Dis. 2008 Winter;18(1):84-8.

Educating and mobilizing youth to detect undiagnosed elevated blood pressure: searching for the silent killer.

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Stroke Center and Department of Neurology, UCLA Medical Center, 90095, USA.



Hispanic individuals with high blood pressure are less likely than other ethnic groups to be aware of their high blood pressure or to be on medication for the condition. We investigated the feasibility of using high school students in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods to conduct a large-scale blood pressure screening and education outreach in their communities.


In 2005, 960 students from Los Angeles high schools in predominantly Hispanic communities were trained to conduct blood pressure screening and provide educational materials and referrals. A multivariable analysis using logistic regression was conducted to analyze the association between self-reported cardiovascular risk factors and elevated blood pressure.


Students presented educational materials to 5395 persons and screened 5165 persons in their communities. Of 5395 individuals screened, 299 (6%) were found to have elevated blood pressure, of which only 77 (26%) were taking antihypertensive medication. Of those with elevated blood pressure on screening, 46% indicated they had a history of hypertension, and 3% of the entire screened community were identified as having elevated blood pressure for the first time. Older age, male sex, heavy alcohol consumption, and history of hypertension were all independently associated with elevated blood pressure.


Training high school students to identify persons with elevated blood pressure is feasible and could reach large numbers of ethnic minorities unaware of their blood pressure status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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