To assess ethnic differences in the prevalence and management of hypertension among Turkish, Moroccan and native Dutch ethnic groups in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A cross-sectional survey.
A random sample of 1304 adults aged 18 years and over. Of these, 39.2% were Dutch, 33.2% were Turkish and 27.6% were Moroccan.
The prevalence of hypertension was lower in Turkish (men 25.8% and women 22.2%) and Moroccan (men 26.1% and women 19.6%) than in Dutch individuals (men 48.8% and women 35.0%). Except for Turkish women, these differences persisted after adjustment for age and body mass index: the odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for being hypertensive were 0.47 (0.30–0.74; P < 0.001) for Turkish men, 0.48 (0.30–0.76; P < 0.001) for Moroccan men and 0.51 (0.28–0.94; P = 0.03) for Moroccan women. Only Moroccan hypertensive women were less likely than Dutch women to be aware of their condition 0.31 (0.11–0.81; P < 0.01) and to be treated 0.32 (0.12–0.88; P < 0.01) for hypertension. There were no differences in hypertension control between the ethnic groups in both men and women.
The lower prevalence of hypertension among Moroccan men may contribute to the low cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality reported among this group in the Netherlands. The differential risks in CVD mortality between Moroccan men and women may partly result from the lower hypertension awareness and treatment rates in Moroccan women. Strategies aimed at improving the detection and treatment of hypertension among Moroccan women may improve the sex disparity in cardiovascular mortality between Moroccan men and women in the Netherlands.