Influence of Living Arrangements on the Management and Control of Hypertension: A Mixed-Methods Study of Korean American Elderly
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- Han, H., Song, Y., Song, H. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2013) 15: 944. doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9679-2
Elders living alone may experience worse health outcomes than do those living with spouse and/or children. Using baseline data from a randomized trial to promote high blood pressure (HBP) control in Korean elders (N = 440), we examined the relationship between living arrangements and HBP control. We also interviewed a sub-sample to better understand the patterns of social interactions associated with different types of living arrangements. One in five reported living alone; this group tended to be older and female, and resided in senior group housing. Those living alone were twice as likely as those living with a spouse to have controlled BP (OR = 2.08; 95 % CI 1.09–3.97), even after controlling for study covariates. Those in senior group housing had frequent social interactions that involved conversations around health, encouragement concerning medication taking, and health information sharing. In conclusion, Korean elders living independently are neither socially-isolated nor at increased risk for poor BP control.