Race, Hypersegregated Communities and Negative Health Outcomes: Assessing the Risk of Hypertension and Coronary Heart Disease for African Americans in Metropolitan Areas

Antwan Jones, Bowling Green State University

Using data from The 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), I examine the relationship between race, location and health. More specifically, I analyze the effect that hypersegregation has on the likelihood of developing hypertension and coronary heart disease (CHD) for Whites and Blacks. This is important because Blacks are diagnosed with hypertension at a higher rate than Whites, and are also more likely to die from coronary heart disease. I examine individual, community and state-level characteristics to explain these differentials. I find that both race and residing in a hypersegregated area are consistent predictors of developing both hypertension and CHD. Controlling for health status decreased the racial gap in CHD but increased the gap in hypertension. This result provides some evidence that health plays a positive role in narrowing disparities in hypertension, but a negative role in narrowing disparities in CHD. The implications of these results are then considered.

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Presented in Poster Session 3