This study was a cross-sectional survey of the hypertension (HTN) knowledge and risk behaviors of Black Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) in London. Recruitment took take place in 17 predominantly Black SDA churches in London. A questionnaire assessed knowledge and lay-beliefs about HTN and perceptions towards HTN using the health belief model (HBM) constructs of susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale was incorporated into the questionnaire. Blood pressure, height, weight and waist circumference were and current lifestyles practices were evaluated for the presence of HTN risk factors.

Of the 312 volunteers, ages 25 to 79, 55% were born in the Caribbean, 10% in Africa and 35% in the UK. Sixty-nine percent were female and 31% male. Descriptive statistics were calculated for their knowledge, common lay-beliefs and the levels of the HBM variables. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were regressed on the demographic variables and the relative risk estimate (RRE) score, a measure of the behavioral risk factors for HTN.

Twenty-five percent of the study participants were hypertensive, with a greater prevalence among men (34%) than women (21.6%) (p =.037). Though participants were knowledgeable about the causes and consequences of HTN, they did not feel that they were at increased susceptibility of developing HTN, and in general did not practice preventive lifestyles - 68.6% were at increased risk for developing HTN.

Age (p = .002), gender (p =.000002) and family history of HTN (p = .006) were independent predictors of SBP, while the RRE score (p =.002) was an independent predictor of DBP. The HBM variable of self-efficacy was the only independent variable that was predictive of the RRE score (p =.022).

In general, SDA lifestyles are healthier than non-SDAs, but for these participants this was not the case. More attention needs to be given to behavior change in order for the emphasis on health living within the SDA church to translate into preventive behaviors.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Naomi Modeste

Second Advisor

Helen Hopp Marshak

Third Advisor

Colwick Wilson

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

African Continental Ancestry Group; Stroke -- ethnology; London -- epidemiology; Risk Assessment; Risk Factors; Hypertension -- prevention & control; Seventh-day Adventists; Life Style.



Page Count

xi; 150

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives