Community health survey in an urban African-American neighborhood: Distribution and correlates of elevated blood pressure

Lee R. Bone, Martha N. Hill, Rebecca Stallings, Allan C. Gelber, Anne Barker, Ingrid Baylor, Elder C. Harris, Scott L. Zeger, Kaytura L. Felix-Aaron, Jeanne M. Clark, David Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


While considerable improvements have been made over the last 30 years in hypertension (HTN) awareness, treatment, and control, a recent reversal of these trends has been documented with African-American adults, particularly among those continuing to suffer from uncontrolled hypertension and its adverse consequences. This paper presents data from a cross-sectional representative survey of the health status of an urban African-American community. The study was designed in partnership with community leadership to improve HTN care and control. The baseline survey was a face-to-face interview (including blood pressure [BP] measurements) of 2,196 adults residing in randomly selected blocks in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in Baltimore City. These sample data were compared with national data from the NHANES III survey, and demonstrated similar awareness of hypertension. However, hypertension control rates among treated hypertensives were significantly lower in the study community (28%) than in the national survey (44%). Compared with normotensive individuals, those with HTN were significantly older, had less education, were less likely to be employed, and had lower annual incomes. Individuals with HTN were also significantly more likely to rate their health as poor/fair, to report a history of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, high cholesterol, and lack of exercise, as well as to be at greater risk of alcoholism or alcohol problems. Hypertensive individuals (88% with reported prior history, 12% newly detected) were significantly more likely to have a usual source of care, have seen a health professional in the last 12 months, and to be extremely satisfied with the provider; however, 20% of individuals with hypertension reported no health insurance. These data indicate the need for focused interventions to enhance hypertension maintenance of care and adherence to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2000


  • Adults
  • African American
  • Community
  • Community Health Worker
  • Hypertension
  • Survey
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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