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A cross-national comparative study of blood pressure and hypertension between english and dutch south-Asian-and African-origin Populations: The role of national context

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Raj Bhopal CBE, Professor Nigel Unwin


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Background: We compare patterns of blood pressure (BP) and prevalence of hypertension between white-Dutch and their South-Asian and African minority groups with their corresponding white-English and their South-Asian and African ethnic minority groups; and the contribution of physical activity, body sizes, and socioeconomic position (SEP); and the quality of BP treatment that may underlie differences in mean BP. Methods: Secondary analyses of population-based studies of 13,999 participants from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Results: Compared with Dutch South-Asians, all English South-Asian men and women had lower BP and prevalence of hypertension except for systolic BP in English-Indian men. Among Africans, the systolic BP did not differ, but the diastolic BP levels were lower in English-Caribbean and English-(sub-Sahara) African men and women than in their Dutch-African counterparts. English-Caribbeans had a lower prevalence of hypertension than Dutch-Africans. Compared with white-Dutch, white-English men and women had higher systolic BP levels, but lower diastolic BP levels. There were no differences in the prevalence of hypertension between the white groups. Most differences remained unchanged after adjustment for SEP, lifestyle, and body sizes in all ethnic groups. BP control rates were substantially lower among Dutch-African and Dutch South-Asian hypertensives than among their English counterparts (except Indians). Conclusions We found marked variations in BP and hypertension prevalence between comparable ethnic groups in England and the Netherlands. Poor BP control among Dutch South-Asians and Africans contributed to their disadvantage of the relatively high BP levels. © 2010 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agyemang C, Kunst A, Bhopal R, Zaninotto P, Unwin N, Nazroo J, Nicolaou M, Redekop W, Stronks K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Hypertension

Year: 2010

Volume: 23

Issue: 6

Pages: 639-648

Print publication date: 01/06/2010

ISSN (print): 0895-7061

ISSN (electronic): 1941-7225

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/ajh.2010.39

PubMed id: 20300070


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Funder referenceFunder name
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)