Racial Inequities in the Control of Hypertension and the Explanatory Role of Residential Segregation: a Decomposition Analysis in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil)

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2024 Apr;11(2):1024-1032. doi: 10.1007/s40615-023-01582-w. Epub 2023 Apr 13.


The mechanisms underlying racial inequities in uncontrolled hypertension have been limited to individual factors. We investigated racial inequities in uncontrolled hypertension and the explanatory role of economic segregation in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). All 3897 baseline participants with hypertension (2008-2010) were included. Uncontrolled hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 mmHg or DBP ≥ 90 mmHg), self-reported race (White/Brown/Black people), and neighborhood economic segregation (low/medium/high) were analyzed cross-sectionally. We used decomposition analysis, which describes how much a disparity would change (disparity reduction; explained portion) and remain (disparity residual; unexplained portion) upon removing racial differences in economic segregation (i.e., if Black people had the distribution of segregation of White people, how much we would expect uncontrolled hypertension to decrease among Black people). Age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension (39.0%, 52.6%, and 54.2% for White, Brown, and Black participants, respectively) remained higher for Black and Brown vs White participants, regardless of economic segregation. Uncontrolled hypertension showed a dose-response pattern with increasing segregation levels for White but not for Black and Brown participants. After adjusting for age, gender, education, and study center, unexplained portion (disparity residual) of race on uncontrolled hypertension was 18.2% (95% CI 13.4%; 22.9%) for Black vs White participants and 12.6% (8.2%; 17.1%) for Brown vs White participants. However, explained portion (disparity reduction) through economic segregation was - 2.1% (- 5.1%; 1.3%) for Black vs White and 0.5% (- 1.7%; 2.8%) for Brown vs White participants. Although uncontrolled hypertension was greater for Black and Brown vs White people, racial inequities in uncontrolled hypertension were not explained by economic segregation.

Keywords: Brazil; Decomposition analysis; Economic residential segregation; Hypertension control; Racial inequities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Racial Groups
  • Residential Segregation*
  • White People