Acculturation and hypertension in Mexican Americans.

K. S. Markides, D. J. Lee, L. A. Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this analysis, we employ data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the association between level of acculturation into the larger society and rates of hypertension in Mexican Americans. Analyses conducted separately by gender in three broad age groups (ages 20 to 39, 40 to 59, and 60 to 74 years) fail to indicate a linear effect of acculturation on hypertension after controlling for age, education, marital status, employment, smoking, alcohol consumption, and body mass index. A nonlinear hypothesis was subsequently examined and found partial support among middle-aged men. Other things equal, middle-aged men at the middle of the acculturation continuum have significantly higher rates of hypertension than persons at the low end of the continuum. Lower rates are also observed among men at the high end of the acculturation continuum, but these rates are not significantly lower than those among men in the middle acculturation group when other variables are controlled. These findings for middle-aged men support an "acculturative stress" model that suggests that stress is higher at the middle of the acculturation continuum. Research on the influence of acculturation on health outcomes should go beyond simply examining linear effects to investigate the viability of nonlinear effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalEthnicity & disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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