The prevalence of blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring in Boston among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites

Ethn Dis. Spring 2006;16(2):375-83.


Objectives: Racial and ethnic minorities are at increased risk for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Appropriate blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring is a critical first step in identification, treatment, and control of these conditions and the prevention of coronary artery disease. This study examines blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring among non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White subjects.

Design: Data were drawn from the 1999 Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Boston oversample. Monitoring for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were compared across 2515 respondents to the 1999 Boston BRFSS oversample, including (67.6% White non-Hispanic, 18% Black non-Hispanic, and 14.4% Hispanic, any race). Chi-square analyses were used to test unadjusted race- and ethnicity-specific differences, and logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of inadequate blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring by race/ ethnicity, adjusting for demographic characteristics, insurance, source of care, psychosocial factors, and neighborhood characteristics.

Results: No significant differences were seen in the adequacy of blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring among the racial/ethnic groups of interest, despite significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics and morbidity.

Conclusions: In this local dataset, non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites, were not more likely to report inadequate blood pressure or cholesterol monitoring. The data suggest that safety net factors in place in Boston may have contributed to the observed parity in access to preventive care among the racial/ethnic groups of interest. The data also suggest that factors antecedent/subsequent to blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring may explain the observed disparities in blood pressure and cholesterol morbidity and control reported for racial/ethnic minorities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Blood Pressure Determination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Boston
  • Cholesterol / analysis*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Whites*


  • Cholesterol