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J Hum Hypertens. 2008 Sep;22(9):608-16. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2008.52. Epub 2008 May 22.

Racial/ethnic variation in hypertension-related lifestyle behaviours among US women with self-reported hypertension.

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Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Healthy lifestyles such as regular physical activity, frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, weight control/weight loss and limited alcohol consumption are effective and recommended in hypertension control. Using data collected from a total of 131 788 female participants (aged > or = 18 years) of the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we examined the racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension-related lifestyle behaviours in 36 770 US women with self-reported hypertension from five races/ethnicities (non-Hispanic white (29 237), non-Hispanic black (4288), Asian (445), American Indian/Alaska native (553) and Hispanic (2247)). The prevalence of hypertension varied by race/ethnicity, with the highest seen in non-Hispanic black population (36.9 versus 20.2-26.8% in other racial/ethnic groups). Of all hypertensive women, using non-Hispanic white women as the referent, we found that non-Hispanic black (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.77), American Indian/Alaska native (AOR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.52-1.00) and Hispanic women (AOR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.57-0.86) were significantly less likely to engage in physical activity at recommended levels; non-Hispanic black women were more likely to consume > or = 8 servings per day of fruits and vegetables (AOR: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.24-2.34), and less likely to report losing weight (AOR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.53-0.71). In addition, Hispanic hypertensive women were significantly more likely than non-Hispanic white women to receive weight-loss advice (AOR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.60-2.44). In contrast, non-Hispanic white women were significantly more likely than those from other races/ethnicities to consume alcoholic beverages or engage in binge drinking. Our results demonstrate that race/ethnicity is an independent predictor of lifestyle behaviours related to hypertension control among American women with hypertension.

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