Florida Public Health Review


Publication Date

August 2008


This study tests the hypothesis that disparities of hypertension risk in African Americans is related to lead exposure, perceptions of racism, and stress, among urban (Roxbury, MA) and rural (Gadsden, FL) communities. Analysis of preliminary data from Phase I reveal 60% in Gadsden and 39% in Roxbury respondents self-reported having hypertension. In Gadsden 80% people did not know if their residence contained lead paint, compared to 45% in Roxbury. In Gadsden County, 58% of respondents reported experiencing racial discrimination in different settings compared with 72% in Roxbury. In regression analyses high cholesterol emerged as a significant predictors of hypertension in Gadsden County (OR=8.29, CI=1.4-49.3), whereas monthly household income (OR=0.15, CI=0.04- 0.7) and diabetes (OR=6.06, CI=1.4-26.17) were significant predictors of hypertension in Roxbury after adjusting for other covariates. These preliminary findings set the stage for initiating Phase II (Phase I continues recruitment), that entail biological marker measurements to rigorously test main hypothesis.