Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Correlates of Undiagnosed Hypertension Among Chinese and Korean American Immigrants.


Asian Americans are more likely to be unaware that they have hypertension compared to non-Hispanic white Americans, despite having higher risk of hypertension at lower body-mass indices. Furthermore, immigrants are more likely than their United States (U.S.)-born counterparts to have undiagnosed hypertension, placing them at greater risk of subsequent morbidity and mortality. This study examines the social determinants of undiagnosed hypertension among Asian American immigrants. Using a study of foreign-born Chinese and Korean Americans between the ages of 50-75 years-old recruited from physicians' clinics in the Baltimore-Washington DC Metropolitan Area (n = 355), we used blood pressure readings measured by trained staff members, self-reported diagnosis by a medical professional, and self-reported hypertension medication use to determine hypertension status-whether patients were non-hypertensive, had diagnosed hypertension, or had undiagnosed hypertension. Using multinomial logistic regression, we examined how demographic, socioeconomic, and immigration-related factors were associated with hypertension status. Results indicated that older age, male gender, Korean subgroup, and marital status were associated with having diagnosed hypertension compared to being non-hypertensive. Lack of health insurance was the strongest predictor of having undiagnosed hypertension compared to being non-hypertensive. Acculturation variables had no strong associations with hypertension status. We then explored correlates of health insurance status for Chinese and Korean American immigrants. Those without health insurance were more likely to have lower income and to be not currently employed. Our findings point to the importance of increasing health insurance access for Asian American immigrant groups to ensure that hypertension is not left undiagnosed and untreated.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View