Undertreatment of hypertension in older Mexican Americans

Shiva Satish, Christine A. Stroup-Benham, David V. Espino, Kyriakos S. Markides, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence of hypertension and factors associated with nontreatment and poor control of hypertension in Mexican Americans aged 65 years and older. DESIGN: A population-based survey of older Mexican Americans conducted in 1993-1994. SETTING: Subjects residing in five Southwestern states: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California. PARTICIPANTS: An area probability sample of 3050 noninstitutionalized Mexican American men and women aged 65 and older took part in a 90-minute in-home interview, which included review of all medications taken and two sitting blood pressure measurements. OUTCOME MEASURES: Measured were previous diagnoses of hypertension, current medication for hypertension, and current blood pressure RESULTS: Sixty-one percent of older Mexican-Americans were hypertensive, and 51% of those with hypertension were taking antihypertensive medications. Only 25% of hypertensive subjects (18% of males and 30% of females) were in good blood pressure control (i.e., systolic blood pressure <140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg). In multivariate analyses, factors associated with increased likelihood of treatment included female gender (OR = 1.9), history of heart disease (OR = 2.4), possessing a regular source of health care (OR = 2.7), and having seen a physician two or more times in the previous year (OR = 3.8). These were also independent predictors of good blood pressure control. CONCLUSION: Nontreatment of hypertension is still a major public health concern in older Mexican Americans. We estimate that adequate blood pressure control in this population would prevent approximately 30,000 adverse cardiovascular events over 10 years, affecting approximately 6% of the entire Mexican American older population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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