Do racial differences in hypertension persist in successful agers? Findings from the MacArthur Study of Successful Aging.
The objective of this study was to determine whether racial differences in hypertension in a random sample of community-dwelling older adults also remained significant in a sample of successful agers. Data for the random sample of community-dwelling older adults came from the Duke University Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (4,162 community-dwelling adults age 65 and older) and showed strong racial differences in hypertension. Data for successful agers came from the Duke MacArthur (428 of EPESE respondents in the top 30% in terms of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial performance). The mean of two sitting blood pressure measurements was the dependent variable for both sets of analyses. Independent variables included demographics and health factors. Using logistic regression, odds ratios in the Duke EPESE and Duke MacArthur samples for race were similar (Duke EPESE odds ratio = 1.30; Duke MacArthur odds ratio = 1.29). Sample size differences affected statistical significance. However, race differences in hypertension in older adults appear to be unexplained by socioeconomic status or other usual explanatory variables. Even among successful agers, racial differences in hypertension persist.
Gold, DT; Pieper, CF; Westlund, RE; Blazer, DG
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