Background: Over the past few decades, the proportion of US adults who were foreign-born has been increasing, as has the overall prevalence of hypertension. Here, we compared the prevalence of self-reported hypertension among native-born adults with that among foreign-born adults, classified by racial/ethnic group.
Methods: Using 2006–2010 data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), we compared the age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension among native-born adults to foreign-born adults, specified by continent of birthplace and race/ethnicity. Results are expressed as unadjusted odds ratios (ORs) and three sets of adjusted odds ratios (AORs) adjusted for selected sociodemographic, behavioral and health-related characteristics. All results accounted for NHIS sampling design variables.
Results: The analytic sample was 124 260 with 16.3% foreign-born adults. Among the foreign-born adults, 56% were from Central or South America, 22% from Asia, 13% from Europe, and 4% from Africa. Overall and after adjustment, hypertension prevalence was significantly higher among US-born adults than among foreign-born adults (AOR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.21–1.36). By race/ethnicity, hypertension prevalence was higher among US-born non-Hispanic blacks than either foreign-born non-Hispanic blacks (AOR: 1.24, 95%CI: 1.02–1.50) or all Africa-born immigrants of any race/ethnicity [AOR: 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07–1.97]. Among foreign-born adults, duration of US residence was positively associated with the likelihood of hypertension.
Conclusion: Hypertension prevalence was higher among US-born adults than among foreign-born adults and higher among US-born non-Hispanic blacks than in any other group. Among foreign-born adults, hypertension risk increased with the number of years they had lived in the United States.