Nativity, Language Spoken at Home, Length of Time in the United States, and Race/Ethnicity: Associations with Self-Reported Hypertension

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BACKGROUNDCharacterization of health conditions in recent immigrant subgroups, including foreign-born whites and Asians, is limited but important for identifying emerging health disparities. Hypertension, a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, has been shown to be associated with acculturation, but the acculturative experience varies for different racial/ethnic groups. Assessing the impact of race/ethnicity on the relationship between acculturation-related factors and hypertension is therefore of interest.METHODSData from the 2005–2008 waves (n = 36,550) of the NYC Community Health Survey were combined to estimate self-reported hypertension prevalence by nativity, language spoken at home, and time spent in the United States. Multivariable analyses were used to assess (i) the independent associations of acculturation-related factors and hypertension and (ii) potential effect modification by race/ethnicity. Sensitivity analysis recalibrating self-reported hypertension using measured blood pressures from a prior NYC population-based survey was performed. Prevalence was also explored by country of origin.RESULTSBeing foreign vs. US born was associated with higher self-reported hypertension in whites only. Speaking Russian vs. English at home was associated with a 2-fold adjusted odds of self-reported hypertension. Living in the United States for ≥10 years vs. less time was associated with higher self-reported hypertension prevalence in blacks and Hispanics. Hypertension prevalence in Hispanics was slightly lower when using a recalibrated definition, but other results did not change substantively.CONCLUSIONSRace/ethnicity modifies the relationship between acculturation-related factors and hypertension. Consideration of disease prevalence in origin countries is critical to understanding health patterns in immigrant populations. Validation of self-reported hypertension in Hispanic populations is indicated.

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