Labeling Death: The Link between Race, Hypertension Prevalence and Hypertension Related Death

Quincy Stewart, Indiana University
Carla Keirns, University of Michigan

RThis paper examines the link between racial disparities in hypertension prevalence and disparities in diagnosing-or labeling-deaths as hypertension related. We use data from the NCHS Multiple Cause of Death File and the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File to analyze the relationship between race, the probability of having ones death diagnosed as hypertension, and various social, economic and health-related characteristics. Our results reveal that: 1) blacks are two times more likely than whites to have their deaths labeled as hypertension across the adult life course, 2) the increased likelihood of a black person's death being labeled as hypertension is unrelated to group differences in education, place of death, number of multiple-causes on death certificate, diabetes as a related cause and county fixed effects, and 3) the increased odds of labeling a black death as hypertension is unrelated to pre-existing reports of high blood pressure, subjective health status, BMI, socioeconomic status and region of occurrence.

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Presented in Poster Session 1