May 1, 2010

Effects of Perceived Racism and Acculturation on Hypertension in Native Hawaiians

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula PhD; Marcus K. Iwane MD; and Andrea H. Nacapoy MA

Hawai‘i Medical Journal

Objective: To examine the effects of perceived racism and acculturation on the hypertension status of Native Hawaiians.

Design: Cross-sectional data from 94 Native Hawaiian adults were obtained which included the following: 1) socio-demographic variables and self-reported hypertension status; 2) a 5-item Hawaiian cultural identity subscale (ACSS); and 3) perceived racism based on a 6-item modified version of 32-item Oppression Questionnaire (OQ).

Results: Based on logistic regression analysis, the ACSS scores and OQ scores had significant (p <.05) and independent effects on hypertension status, after considering the effects of age, sex, and education level, and HCSS scores. Of the variables examined, OQ scores has the greatest magnitude of effect on hypertension status.

Conclusion: More perceived racism and a greater identification with the American mainstream culture were both, independently, related to self-reported hypertension in Native Hawaiians. These findings have important clinical and public health implications.

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