ABSTRACT

Varied hypotheses have been offered to explain the difference in hypertension prevalence among Black and White Americans. Etiological hypotheses cover the gamut and implicate such diverse factors as slavery (Wilson & Grim, 1991), evolutionary adaptation to decreased availability of dietary sodium in the regions of origin (Wilson, 1986), pathogenesis of keloid fibroblasts (Dustan, 1995), and low birth weight (Lopes & Port, 1995). Although physiological-biological, nutritional, social, behavioral, and psychological factors have been implicated to explain the Black-White differential (Anderson, Myers, Pickering, & Jackson, 1989), no single factor appears to be sufficient to account for the prevalence rates. Rather, it is likely that the basis for the difference is multifactorially determined.