Awareness of high blood pressure by nativity among black men: Implications for interpreting the immigrant health paradox

Helen V.S. Cole, Holly E. Reed, Candace Tannis, Chau Trinh-Shevrin, Joseph E. Ravenell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction Differences in the social determinants of health and cardiovascular health outcomes by nativity have implications for understanding the immigrant health paradox among black immigrants. We aimed to understand whether blood pressure awareness, a precursor to achieving blood pressure control among hypertensive patients, varied by nativity among a sample of black men. Methods Data were collected from 2010 through 2014. In 2016, we conducted logistic regression models using data from a large sample of urban-dwelling middle-aged and older black men. All men in the study had measured high blood pressure at the time of enrollment and were also asked whether they were aware of having high blood pressure. Independent variables included demographics, socioeconomic status, access to care, and health-related behaviors. Results Foreign-born participants were significantly less likely than USborn participants to report awareness of having high blood pressure (P < .001). We observed a significant positive relationship between proportion of life spent in the US and being aware of having hypertension (β = 0.863; 95% CI, 0.412-1.314; P < .001). This relationship remained after adjusting the model for salient independent variables (β = 0.337; 95% CI, 0.041-0.634; P = .03). Conclusions Difference in hypertension awareness by nativity may skew surveillance estimates used to track health disparities by large heterogeneous racial categories. Our results also indicate that prior health care experience and circumstances should be considered when studying the immigrant health paradox.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170570
JournalPreventing chronic disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018


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