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In the U.S. Hispanic population overall, heart disease is the leading cause of death. The prevalence of hypertension among Mexican American immigrants is lower than the general population, yet it is on the rise. Health risks among Hispanics vary depending on their length of stay in the US (as proxy measure of acculturation). The purpose of this study was to examine the association between acculturation and the individual's likelihood of being diagnosed with hypertension among Hispanic Americans.


We used data from the 2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and performed univariate analysis to examine racial differences in prevalence of hypertension. We also performed a multivariate logistic regression to identify if acculturation was significantly related to hypertension diagnoses, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, level of education, marital status), access to care, and health status (e.g., self-reported health status, BMI), among Mexican Americans and all Hispanics, respectively.


Of 3,793 Hispanic American participating in the survey, 81.8% were Mexican Americans and 18.2% were other Hispanics. The prevalence of hypertension among Hispanic was 24.0% (95% CI: 21.5%. 26.7%) which was lower than that of African Americans (39.2%, 95% CI 33.7%, 44.9%) and White (30.2%, 95% CI: 28.5%, 31.9%). In multivariate analyses, acculturation was associated with hypertension among Mexican Americans, but not all Hispanics. For both Mexican Americans and Hispanics, age, health status and BMI were associated with having hypertension: Older people, those with poor health status, and overweight and obese people were more likely than their comparison groups to have hypertension. Those without health insurance were less likely to have hypertension.


The results show a positive association between length of time in the United States for longer periods of time, and a diagnosis of hypertension. These results, along with others conducted around Hispanic American immigration, acculturation and chronic disease prevalence, help medical providers, to understand the effects of acculturation on specific health care needs among immigrants, and offer suggestions to patients which are culturally sensitive and relevant.

Poster presented at AHPA conference in Atlanta Georgia.

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Borders and Blood Pressure: Understanding the Role of Acculturation in a Hypertension Diagnosis Among Hispanic Americans, 2014 California Health Interview Survey, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Population Health


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Borders and Blood Pressure: Understanding the Role of Acculturation in a Hypertension Diagnosis Among Hispanic Americans: 2014 California Health Interview Survey

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