Racial/Ethnic Residential Segregation and Self-Reported Hypertension Among US- and Foreign-Born Blacks in New York City

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BackgroundResearch examining the association of residence in racially segregated neighborhoods with physical and mental health outcomes among blacks is mixed. Research elucidating the relationship between segregation and hypertension has been limited. This study examines the association between segregation and hypertension among US- and foreign-born blacks in New York City (NYC).MethodsIndividual-level data from the NYC Community Health Survey (n = 4,499) were linked to neighborhood-level data from the US Census and Infoshare Online. Prevalence ratios (PRs) for the association between segregation and self-reported hypertension among US- and foreign-born blacks were estimated.ResultsAfter adjusting for individual- and neighborhood-level covariates, segregation was not associated with hypertension among US-born blacks or foreign-born blacks under 65 years of age. Older foreign-born blacks in highly segregated areas had a 46% lower probability (PR = 0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.40–0.72) of reporting hypertension than older foreign-born blacks residing in low segregation areas.ConclusionsIn this NYC-based sample, no association between segregation and hypertension was observed among US-born or younger foreign-born blacks; however, our results suggest possible benefits of segregation for older foreign-born blacks. Further studies should determine whether this association is observed in other cities and identify factors that may mitigate against the adverse effects of segregation.American Journal of Hypertension, advance online publication 21 April 2011; doi:10.1038/ajh.2011.69

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