Hypertension Tied to Education In Recent Nationwide Survey

Hypertension occurs less among college graduates than among those without a college education, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The nation-wide research group was originally investigating a higher prevalence of hypertension in blacks than in whites, and found that hypertension was 40 per cent less prevalent in college graduates than in those with less than ten years of schooling.

Race and Education

Researchers in the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program Cooperative Guild screened 158,000 people in 14 communities across the United States in 1973 and 1974 and reported these findings in a study entitled, "Race, Education and the Prevalence of Hypertension."

Although they have found a link between education and hypertension, scientists are still unclear as to why the link exists, Dr. Frank Polk, a member of the research group, said yesterday. He added that a "more sophisticated analysis is in order."

No further studies have so far been planned, Polk said.

Rejecting conjecture that the better educated are more knowledgable about preventing hypertension, Dr. Harold S. Solomon, assistant professor of Medicine at the Medical School, said yesterday there is "not even any good hypothesis as to why it exists."

"I'm the director of the Hypertension Clinic at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and I don't know how to prevent hypertension," he added.

Needs Follow Up

Although unfamiliar with the study, Dr. Sholem Postel, acting head of University Health Services (UHS), said yesterday "if the data holds, it would be interesting to follow up."