Beliefs about the potential for high blood pressure prevention were assessed during a telephone survey of cardiovascular risk factor awareness among black and Hispanic adults in Chicago, Illinois. A high proportion of those interviewed-82% of blacks and 69% of Hispanics-thought a person could do something to prevent getting high blood pressure and either selected one or more of several possible preventive measures listed by the interviewer or volunteered other measures. Awareness of two widely cited prevention possibilities that may be particularly important for black and Hispanic populations-lowering salt intake and maintaining ideal weight-was low. Fewer than half the respondents in this survey (44% of blacks and 26% of Hispanics) thought that lowering salt intake would help prevent high blood pressure. An even smaller number (10% of blacks and 20% of Hispanics) thought that maintaining ideal weight would help prevent high blood pressure. Moreover, other measures that are unrelated to high blood pressure or for which a relation to high blood pressure is not well established were selected frequently. These findings were contrary to our expectations, because black and Hispanic populations have been targeted by the National High Blood Pressure Education campaign and because high levels of awareness in other areas of cardiovascular disease risk were observed in this sample. These data suggest that awareness of potential strategies for high blood pressure prevention among black and Hispanic communities needs to be addressed specifically in related educational campaigns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health