Objective. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used and frequently lead to serious adverse events. Little is known about NSAID-related ethnic/racial disparities. We focused on differences in patient NSAID risk awareness, patient-doctor NSAID risk communication, and NSAID risk-avoidance behavior. Methods. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of survey data from the Alabama NSAID Patient Safety Study. Eligible patients were >65 years old and currently taking prescription NSAIDs (Rx NSAIDS). Generalized linear latent and mixed models accounted for nesting of patients within physicians. Results. Of all 404 participants, 32% were African American and 73% were female. The mean ± SD age was 72.8 ± 7.5 years, and 64% reported an annual household income <$20,000. African American patients were less likely than white patients to recognize any risk associated with over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs (13.3% versus 29.3%; P = 0.001) and Rx NSAIDs (31.3% versus 49.6%; P = 0.001), report that their doctor discussed possible NSAID-related gastrointestinal problems (38.0% versus 52.4%; P = 0.007), and take medications to reduce ulcer risk (30.5% versus 50.2%; P = 0.001). Patients with lower income and education reported significantly less risk awareness for OTC and Rx NSAIDs. Racial/ethnic differences persisted after adjusting for multiple confounders. Conclusion. In this community-based study of low income elderly individuals receiving NSAIDs, we identified important racial/ethnic differences in risk awareness, communication, and behavior. Additional efforts are needed to promote safe NSAID use and reduce ethnic/racial disparities. © 2007, American College of Rheumatology.