Hypertension is the main cardiovascular risk factor and its prevalence varies among the countries according to their economic income and ethnicity. Colombia is a middle-high income country, with a variety of ethnic groups among the national territory. We aim to describe the prevalence and control of hypertension by ethnics in Colombia and its associated factors.
Design and method:
Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study - Colombia is a prospective, population-based cohort study on persons aged 35–70 years. Ethnic group was assessed by phenotypic characters (skin, eyes and hair color) and self-definition of white, mestizo (mixture of white and indigenous) and afro-descendant. Descriptive and analytic analysis was performed, using STATA V.11.
4457 individuals were included, of those 73.5% (N = 3275) where mestizos, 14.1% (N = 626) white and 12% (N = 535) afro-descendant. The prevalence of hypertension was, (34.9%; CI 33.2–36.5) in mestizos, (37.3%; IC 33.5–41.1) in whites, and (43.5%; CI 39.3–47.7) in afro-descendant. The afro-descendant have the lower percentage of awareness (43.5%; CI 37.3–50.0) compared with (51.5%; CI 48.6–54.4) in mestizos and (52.3%; CI 45.9–58.7) in whites. The percentage of treatment was lower (43.1%; IC 36.9–49.6) in the afro-descendant in relation to (45.2%; CI 42.3–48.1) in mestizos and (47.2%; CI 40.8–53.6) in whites, but only (13.8%; CI 9.9–18.8) of afro-descendant have hypertension controlled in relation to (18%; CI 13.5–23.5) in whites and (17.9%; CI 15.7–20.2) in mestizos. On the univariate analysis we found that being afro-descendant is a risk factor to hypertension against being white 1.30 (CI 1.02–1.64). In the multivariate analysis it was maintained after adjustment by age, education level, socio-economic income, urban/rural and muscle strength 1.57 (IC 1.20–2.06).
Afro-descendants have a higher risk of hypertension in Colombia. Moreover, the percentage of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension are lower in this ethnic group. The association with socio-economic or genetic factors remains to be determinate.