Journal Article

Ethnicity, Education, and Blood Pressure in Cuba

Pedro Ordunez, Jose Luis Bernal Munoz, Alfredo Espinosa-Brito, Luis Carlos Silva and Richard S. Cooper

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 1, pages 49-56
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Ethnicity, Education, and Blood Pressure in Cuba

Show Summary Details


The causes of variation in hypertension risk by ethnicity and educational level are not well understood. To gain further insight into this issue in a nonindustrialized country, a population-based sample of 1,667 persons aged 15–74 years was recruited in Cienfuegos, Cuba. In this 2001–2002 study, interviewers classified 29% of participants as Black or mulatto and 71% as White. Educational attainment was stratified at the median number of school years. Compared with White women, non-White women had higher blood pressures (3.0/1.7, systolic blood pressure/diastolic blood pressure) and a higher prevalence of hypertension (24%, 95% confidence interval: 20, 28 vs. 15%, 95% confidence interval: 12, 18). Among men, no differences in blood pressure were observed by ethnicity. Men with a lower level of education had a 14% lower risk of hypertension compared with men above the median. However, women with a lower level of education had a 24% increase in risk. The effect of education was equally strong among Whites alone and when occupation was used for stratification. No variation was observed for body mass index or self-reported health behaviors by ethnicity or education. The narrower ethnic gradient in hypertension prevalence than seen in North America and the gender-specific social status effect, in the context of relatively equal living conditions, suggest that the influence of psychosocial stressors may be specific to cultural contexts.

Keywords: blood pressure; body mass index; Cuba; education; ethnic groups; health behavior; hypertension; stress; CI, confidence interval; DBP, diastolic blood pressure; SBP, systolic blood pressure

Journal Article.  4539 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.