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BACKGROUND - Lifestyle and socioeconomic status have been implicated in the prevalence of hypertension; thus, we evaluated factors associated with hypertension in a cohort of blacks and whites with similar socioeconomic status characteristics.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We evaluated the prevalence and factors associated with self-reported hypertension (SR-HTN) and ascertained hypertension (A-HTN) among 69,211 participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with hypertension. The prevalence of SR-HTN was 57% overall. Body mass index was associated with SR-HTN in all race-sex groups, with the OR rising to 4.03 (95% CI, 3.74-4.33) for morbidly obese participants (body mass index, >40 kg/m(2)). Blacks were more likely to have SR-HTN than whites (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.75-1.93), and the association with black race was more pronounced among women (OR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.95-2.21) than men (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.36-1.60). Similar findings were noted in the analysis of A-HTN. Among those with SR-HTN and A-HTN who reported use of an antihypertensive agent, 94% were on at least one of the major classes of antihypertensive agents, but only 44% were on ≥2 classes and only 29% were on a diuretic. The odds of both uncontrolled hypertension (SR-HTN and A-HTN) and unreported hypertension (no SR-HTN and A-HTN) were twice as high among blacks as whites (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.68-2.69; and OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.59-2.48, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - Despite socioeconomic status similarities, we observed suboptimal use of antihypertensives in this cohort and racial differences in the prevalence of uncontrolled and unreported hypertension, which merit further investigation.