Relationship Between Race and the Prevalence of Hypertension: A Sociological Analysis of a Critical Socio-Medical Problem in America Today

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A new theoretical approach to aid in the inter-disciplinary research on the question of why some racial and ethnic groups are more susceptible to hypertension than others. In this research, the minority status group hypothesis is used to compare the African Americans /European Americans hypertension differentials. It provides a theoretical framework for conceptualizing racial/ethnic group behavior, for constructing hypotheses and interpreting differences in behavior across racial and ethnic boundaries.


“The book is topical and unique in its’ approach, focusing on health status of Americans including life expectancy, morbidity and mortality rates and other cardiovascular risk factors… [It] offers key issues on various theoretical perspectives and debates within the field of medical sociology in terms of the black/white differential of hypertension. It will aid students and health practitioners in how the sociological approaches are very critical in terms of understanding the impact hypertension has on the social behavior, attitudes, beliefs and practice of health aware populations… This work’s importance stems from its ability to inform readers regarding the critical role social factors play in the etiology of a chronic disease such as hypertension; how the social environment not only promotes but in some situations causes the chronic illness and disability; disease prevention; and health maintenance.”
-Dr. Stephanie B. Coursey Bailey,
Director, Public Health Initiatives,
Interim Dean, College of Health Sciences
Tennessee State University

“This research is significant as a contributor of scientific thought to understand the etiology of hypertension to the general population, but particularity toward African American population given the disproportionate onset of the chronic illness. Scholars, students, and the general population will increase their understanding of the relationship between social factors and social forces as causal factors related to hypertension. This understanding will significantly contribute to the social scientific literature to assist in prevention and change in attitudes and behaviors toward changing diet, and exercises practices to improve health and wellness.”
-Dr. Edward Kelly Sanford,
Associate Professor of Sociology

Table of Contents

Commendatory Foreword
Introduction: Hypertension in American Society
The Problem
Significance of the Research
Chapter One: The General Health Status of Americans
Life Expectancy in the United States
Morbidity and Mortality Rates among Americans
Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Hypertension, a Major Health Problem among Americans
Chapter Two: Major Theories of Hypertension
Genetic and Environmental Approaches
Dietary Approach
Social-Psychological Perspective
Socio-Demographic Factors
Implications of the Literature Review
General Assessment of the Major Theories
Chapter Three: Theoretical Framework
Overview of the Minority Group Status Hypothesis
Conceptual Scheme
Socio-demographic Factors
Social Class Factors
Dietary Factors
Anthrometric Factors
Social Support Systems
Health Factors
Research Hypotheses
106 Chapter Four: Research Methodology
The NCHS Research Design
Data Collection procedure
Operationalization of Variables
Social Class Factors
Anthrometric Factors
Social Support Factors
Health Factors
Data Analysis Procedures
Chapter Five: Race and Hypertension
The Impact of Socio-Demographic Factors
Hypertension Prevalence by Race and Sex
Is Increased Hypertension Part of National Aging?
Blacks/Whites’ Systolic/Diastolic Pressures
The Effect of Race on the Prevalence of Hypertension
Significant Relationship between Race and Social Class
Diastolic Blood Pressure by Socio-Demographic Factors
The Overall Effect of R Square
Chapter Six: Summary and Conclusions
Appendix One
Name Index
Subject Index

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