Hypertension in adult American Indians: The strong heart study
Indians, North American
Hypertension is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the United States. Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among American Indians, the prevalence of hypertension, its awareness and control, and its association with other cardiovascular disease risk factors and physiological variables have not been well studied in this population. The Strong Heart Study is a longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in American Indians. Participants (2703 women and 1846 men) were members of 13 tribes in central Arizona, southwestern Oklahoma, and regions of South and North Dakota. At least 1500 individuals between 45 and 74 years of age participated from each center in a baseline clinical examination conducted between July 1989 and January 1992. The examination consisted of a personal interview and physical examination that included an oral glucose tolerance test and three consecutive blood pressure measurements. This study reports data from the baseline examination on the prevalence of hypertension and correlates of blood pressure. Results indicated that despite the high frequency of diabetes and obesity, prevalence rates of hypertension in Arizona and Oklahoma were similar to those in the US population in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), and rates among South/North Dakota participants were significantly lower (P < .0001). Blood pressure was higher in individuals with diabetes (P < .0001) and was significantly correlated with age (P < .0001) and albuminuria (P < .0001) but only weakly related to obesity. There was no independent relation between blood pressure and insulin. Blood pressure seems to be less affected by obesity and hyperinsulinemia in American Indians compared with other populations. Nevertheless, hypertension should be aggressively treated and controlled in American Indians because it is a known precursor to morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.