The high prevalence of hypertension among the US black population is a major contributor to disparities in life expectancy; however, the causes for higher incidence of hypertension among black adults are unknown. A team of researchers from UAB's School of Public Health collaborated with other organizations to evaluate potential factors associated with higher risk of incident hypertension among black adults. These UAB researchers included Drs. George Howard, Suzanne Judd, and Leann Long from the department of Biostatistics, along with Drs. Paul Muntner and Virginia Howard, from the department of Epidemiology.

Prospective cohort study of black and white adults selected from a longitudinal cohort study of 30 239 participants as not having hypertension at baseline (2003-2007) and participating in a follow-up visit 9.4 years (median) later.

There were 12 clinical and social factors, including score for the Southern diet (range, −4.5 to 8.2; higher values reflect higher level of adherence to the dietary pattern), including higher fried and related food intake. Incident hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, or use of antihypertensive medications) at the follow-up visit.

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