Introduction Previous data suggest that the prevalence of hypertension (HTN) in Yemenite Jews is lower than in the general Israeli population. The aim of the present study was to compare the prevalence of HTN between type 2 diabetic patients of Yemenite (Y) and non-Yemenite (NY) origin.
Methods Cross-sectional study in a Diabetes Clinic. Clinical and lifestyle information was collected including a food frequency questionnaire.
Results Sixty three Y and 120 NY diabetic patients were included in the study. The age and sex distributions were similar in the two groups. Patients in the Y group had lower mean weight and waist circumference (72.3 kg vs 85.0 kg and 95 cm vs 105 cm, respectively, p<0.001) and their mean HbA1c level was higher (7.7% vs 7.2%, p=0.015). The prevalence of HTN was significantly lower in the Y compared to the NY group (63% vs 83%, p=0.003). Patients in the Y group consumed less antihypertensive medications than those in the NY group (1.6 vs 2.5, p=0.002), however blood pressure levels were similar in both groups. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, NY origin was independently associated with a higher prevalence of HTN (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 6.3, p=0.0025). There were no significant differences between the two groups in physical activity, total calories consumed and the DASH score.
Conclusion In this study the prevalence of hypertension in Yemenite was significant lower compared to non-Yemenite diabetic patients. Since no differences were found in lifestyle characteristics it is likely that other mechanisms are involved.