Date of Conferral
Leslie C. Hussey
Hypertension presents a significant health risk to both developed and developing countries, affecting approximately 78 million Americans of various ethnic backgrounds. Though a great deal of research about hypertension and minority groups has been published, few studies have examined hypertension in the Armenian American population in the Los Angeles area, one of the most concentrated Armenian American communities in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in health promotion behavior between hypertensive and normotensive Armenian Americans. The theoretical basis for this study was Pender's health promotion model and the health promoting lifestyle profile (HPLP-II), which is used to measure 6 different subscales of health promotion behavior. A quantitative approach was used to examine the relationship between hypertensive status and health promotion behavior. With a sample size of 204, this study found that while there was no significant difference in overall HPLP-II scores, the normotensive group scored higher on physical activity (p = 0.001) and stress management (p = 0.004). These differences remained significant even when controlling for body mass index (BMI). Additionally, the study found high smoking rates and elevated BMI across both samples. These results suggest that interventions that target stress management and physical activity and use the cultural strengths of interpersonal relationships and spiritual growth may be the most effective. This information may be used as a foundation in future interventional studies and may create significant social change by decreasing hypertension among the Armenian American population and increasing awareness of risk factors and prevention.