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Journal Article

Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension among Filipino immigrants

BACKGROUND: Filipino Americans have high rates of hypertension, yet little research has examined hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in this group. OBJECTIVE: In a community-based sample of hypertensive Filipino American immigrants, we identify 1) rates of hypertension awareness, treatment, and control; and 2) factors associated with awareness, treatment, and control. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of survey data from health screenings collected from 2006 to 2010. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 566 hypertensive Filipino immigrants in New York City, New York and Jersey City, New Jersey. MAIN MEASURES: Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control. Participants were included in analysis if they were hypertensive, based on: a past physician diagnosis, antihypertensive medication use, and/or high blood pressure (BP) screening measurements. Demographic variables included sex, age, time in the United States, location of residence, and English spoken language fluency. Health-related variables included self-reported health, insurance status, diabetes diagnosis, high cholesterol diagnosis, clinical measures (body mass index [BMI], glucose, and cholesterol), exercise frequency, smoking status, cardiac event history, family history of cardiac event, and family history of hypertension. RESULTS: Among the hypertensive individuals, awareness, treatment, and control rates were suboptimal; 72.1 % were aware of their status, 56.5 % were on medication, and only 21.7 % had controlled BP. Factors related to awareness included older age, worse self-reported health, family history of hypertension, and a diagnosis of high cholesterol or diabetes; factors related to treatment included older age, longer time lived in the United States, and being a non-smoker; having health insurance was found to be the main predictor of hypertension control. Many individuals had other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors; 60.4 % had a BMI>/=25, 12.0 % had at-risk glucose measurements and 12.8 % had cholesterol >/= 240. CONCLUSIONS: Hypertensive Filipinos exhibit poor hypertension management, warranting increased efforts to improve awareness, treatment and control. Culturally tailored public health strategies must be prioritized to reduce CVD risk factors among at-risk minority populations.

R. Ursua
D. Aguilar
L. Wyatt
S.D. Tandon
K. Escondo
M. Rey
C. Trinh-Shevrin
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