Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Public Health


Objectives: To examine within-state geographic heterogeneity in hypertension prevalence and evaluate associations between hypertension prevalence and small-area contextual characteristics for Black and White South Carolina Medicaid enrollees in urban vs rural areas.

Design: Ecological.

Setting: South Carolina, United States.

Main outcome measures: Hypertension prevalence.

Methods: Data representing adult South Carolina Medicaid recipients enrolled in fiscal year 2013 (N=409,907) and ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA)-level contextual measures (racial segregation, rurality, poverty, educational attainment, unemployment and primary care physician adequacy) were linked in a spatially referenced database. Optimized Getis-Ord hotspot mapping was used to visualize geographic clustering of hypertension prevalence. Spatial regression was performed to examine the association between hypertension prevalence and small-area contextual indicators.

Results: Significant (alpha=.05) hotspot spatial clustering patterns were similar for Blacks and Whites. Black isolation was significantly associated with hypertension among Blacks and Whites in both urban (Black, b=1.34, P<.01; White, b=.66, P<.01) and rural settings (Black, b=.71, P=.02; White, b=.70, P<.01). Primary care physician adequacy was associated with hypertension among urban Blacks (b=-2.14, P<.01) and Whites (b=-1.74, P<.01).

Conclusions: The significant geographic overlap of hypertension prevalence hotspots for Black and White Medicaid enrollees provides an opportunity for targeted health intervention. Provider adequacy findings suggest the value of ACA network adequacy standards for Medicaid managed care plans in ensuring health care accessibility for persons with hypertension and related chronic conditions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

White, K., Stewart, J. E., Lòpez-DeFede, A., & Wilkerson, R. C. (2016). Small-area variation in hypertension prevalence among black and white medicaid enrollees. Ethnicity & Disease, 26(3), 331.


© 2016, Ethnicity and Disease. Available open access.

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