Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Disparities in Hypertension Associated with Limited English Proficiency.

Kim EJ, Kim T, Paasche-Orlow MK, Rose AJ, Hanchate AD. Disparities in Hypertension Associated with Limited English Proficiency. Journal of general internal medicine. 2017 Jun 1; 32(6):632-639.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Limited English proficiency (LEP) is associated with poor health status and worse outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To examine disparities in hypertension between National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) respondents with LEP versus adequate English proficiency. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of multi-year survey data. PARTICIPANTS: Adults 18 years of age and older who participated in the NHANES survey during the period 2003-2012. MAIN MEASURES: We defined participants with LEP as anyone who completed the NHANES survey in a language other than English or with the support of an interpreter. Using logistic regression, we estimated the odds ratio for undiagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure (SBP)? > 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP)? > 90 mmHg) among LEP participants relative to those with adequate English proficiency. We adjusted for sociodemographic, acculturation-related, and hypertension-related variables. KEY RESULTS: Fourteen percent (n? = 3,269) of the participants had limited English proficiency: 12.4% (n? = 2906) used a Spanish questionnaire and 1.6% (n? = 363) used an interpreter to complete the survey in another language. Those with LEP had higher odds of elevated blood pressure on physical examination (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]? = 1.47 [1.07-2.03]). This finding persisted among participants using an interpreter (AOR? = 1.88 [1.15-3.06]) but not among those using the Spanish questionnaire (AOR? = 1.32 [0.98-1.80]). In a subgroup analysis, we found that the majority of uncontrolled hypertension was concentrated among individuals with a known diagnosis of hypertension (AOR? = 1.80 [1.16-2.81]) rather than those with undiagnosed hypertension (AOR? = 1.14 [0.74-1.75]). Interpreter use was associated with increased odds of uncontrolled hypertension, especially among patients who were not being medically managed for hypertension (AOR? = 6.56 [1.30-33.12]). CONCLUSIONS: In a nationally representative sample, participants with LEP were more likely to have poorly controlled hypertension than those with adequate English proficiency. LEP is an important driver of disparities in hypertension management and outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.