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Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Arline T. Geronimus photo

Differences in Hypertension Prevalence among U.S. Black and White Women of Childbearing Age

Publication Abstract

Geronimus, Arline T., H. Frank Andersen, and John Bound. "Differences in Hypertension Prevalence among U.S. Black and White Women of Childbearing Age." PSC Research Report No. 89-142. April 1989.

Hypertension and its sequelae are complications of pregnancy that can result in poor perinatal outcomes. U.S. Blacks are more likely to be hypertensive than whites, but there are no data on their relative rates of hypertension by fine age gradations. Using data from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II), we describe rates of hypertension for black (n=514) and white (n=3,313) reproductive-age women, including teenagers. The results of fitting logistic regression models show that hypertension rates for Blacks not only are higher than for whites, but also increase at a more rapid rate throughout the childbearing years. It is possible that differential rates of hypertension between Blacks and whites contribute to the excessive rate of infant mortality in Blacks. The NHANES II data show age/race patterns of hypertension risk which are similar to those for neonatal mortality, but conclusive results cannot be determined from these data. These data are also valuable for the design and evaluation of screening, intervention, and follow-up programs for hypertensive disease.

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