Blood pressure levels and hypertension status among ethnic groups in England

J Hum Hypertens. 2000 Feb;14(2):143-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1000960.


The prevalence of cardiovascular disease and hypertension show wide variability among different ethnic groups in the UK. We combined data collected annually between 1991-1996 in the Health Surveys for England--nationwide surveys that provide information on the health status in a representative sample of the population living in England, to compare blood pressure (BP) levels, hypertension rates (systolic BP > or = 160 mm Hg or diastolic BP > or = 95 mm Hg, or those on antihypertensive medication), hypertension treatment and control rates in people of white, black (combining black-Caribbean, black-African and black-other), and South Asian origin (combining Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis). Analyses were stratified into two age groups, 16-39 (younger) and > or = 40 years (older), but were focused on older adults (30,619 whites, 295 blacks and 529 South Asians). Age-adjusted mean BP levels and hypertension rates of older adults were highest among blacks, while South Asian men showed BP levels and hypertension rates similar to black men and South Asian women had mean BP levels and hypertension rates similar to white women. After controlling for age, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, and social class the odds ratio (OR) of being hypertensive among older adults was higher in black men (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.4, 2.9; P < 0.001); black women (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.2, 2.5; P < 0.01); and South Asian men (1.9; CI 1.4, 2.4; P < 0.001), than in their white counterparts. Among those studied with hypertension, treatment rates were highest among black men and women. Among those on antihypertensive medication, the odds of having BP controlled (SBP < 160 mm Hg and DBP < 95 mm Hg) did not differ among the three groups of older men but was reduced in older South Asian women, compared with white women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged