November 2013

Hypertension among oral contraceptive users in El Paso, Texas

White K, Potter JE, Hopkins K, Amastae J, Grossman D. Hypertension among oral contraceptive users in El Paso, Texas. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. November 2013 ;24(4): 1511-21.

On the U.S.-Mexico border, residents frequently cross into Mexico to obtain medications or medical care. We previously reported relatively high prevalence of hypertension among Latina oral contraceptive users in El Paso, particularly those obtaining pills over the counter (OTC) in Mexico. Here, we examine factors associated with having hypertension among 411 OTC users and 399 clinic users. We also assess hypertension awareness and interest in using blood pressure kiosks. Women age 35 to 44 and who had BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 had higher odds of having hypertension. 59% of hypertensive women had unrecognized hypertension, and 77% of all participants would use a blood pressure kiosk; there were no significant differences between clinic and OTC users. Alternative approaches to increase access to health screenings are needed in this setting, where OTC pill use among women with unrecognized hypertension confers unique health risks.