Factors influencing unawareness of hypertension among older Mexican Americans

Shiva Satish, Kyriakos S. Markides, Dong Zhang, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background. The objective of the study was to identify factors associated with unawareness of hypertension among Mexican Americans age 65 years and older. Methods. This was a population-based survey of 3,050 older Mexican Americans conducted in five Southwestern states in 1993-1994. An in- home interview included sociodemographics, review of medications, and blood pressure measurements. Results. Sixty percent of all subjects were hypertensive, and 37% of these were unaware of their diagnosis. Unaware hypertensives had significantly higher mean blood pressures than did aware hypertensives (145.7/86.2 mm Hg vs 142.4/83.1 mm Hg). While 77% of aware hypertensives were treated, only 10% of unaware hypertensives were treated. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with unawareness included male gender (OR = 1.8), being married (OR = 1.6), having Medicaid (OR = 1.6), having made fewer than two visits to a doctor in the past year (OR = 2.8), having a history of heart disease (OR = 0.57) or stroke (OR = 0.37), and having poor self-reported health (OR = 0.43). Conclusion. Despite 3 decades of hypertension detection and education programs, unawareness of hypertension remains high among older Mexican Americans. There is a continued need for community-based education programs for hypertensives who are unaware of their diagnosis, and also there is need for programs to increase access to primary care physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Aged
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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