Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Pressure Control Inequality Linked To Deaths Among African Americans

Date:
November 11, 2008
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Racial disparity in the control of hypertension contributes to the deaths of almost 8,000 African American men and women in the United States annually, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

Racial disparity in the control of hypertension contributes to the deaths of almost 8,000 African American men and women in the United States annually, according to a first-of-its-kind study published today in the Annals of Family Medicine by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

The researchers concluded that the deaths could be avoided or postponed if blacks had their hypertension, or high blood pressure, controlled to the same level as whites.

"Disparity in the control of blood pressure is one of the most important, if not the most important, contributor to racial disparity in cardiovascular mortality, and probably overall mortality," said Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the article and associate professor of family medicine and of community and preventive medicine at the Medical Center.

"If we as clinicians are going to reduce cardiovascular and stroke-related deaths, we need to pay attention to all the barriers to improving blood pressure control, particularly for minority patients" Fiscella said.

Although not clearly known, the likely causes of the racial disparity include differences in access to care, clinician management and communication, hypertension severity, and patient adherence.

"There is evidence from previous studies that access barriers and financial and interpersonal communication barriers affect the ability of black patients to get medical care or to take their medication as prescribed," Fiscella said.

Fiscella and Kathleen Holt, Ph.D., adjunct professor of community and preventive medicine at the Medical Center, are authors of the articles, which is the first effort to quantify the toll of racial disparity in blood pressure control. The article is part of a package of articles on racial disparity in the Annals of Family Medicine that is accompanied by editorials from former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., and Crystal Wile Cenι, M.D., M.P.H., and Lisa A. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H. They call on clinicians, researchers, health care administrators, health care planners and policy makers to work together to gain a better understanding of the barriers faced by ethnic minorities.

Hypertension is a precursor to cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States and which occurs at the highest rate among black Americans.

The researchers analyzed data of 1,545 black adults and 1,335 white adults. The mean blood pressure among blacks with hypertension was approximately six mm/Hg (millimeters of mercury) higher than that for the total adult black population and seven mm/Hg higher than that for whites with hypertension.

A reduction in mean blood pressure among blacks to that of whites would reduce the annual number of deaths among blacks from heart disease by 5,480 and from stroke by 2,190, the researchers concluded.

"There is evidence for racial disparity in patient adherence to antihypertensive medication, including studies conducted within the Veterans Administration Health System, where fewer differences in access appear to exist," the researchers state in the article. "Differences in adherence by race may be due to affordability of medicines, personal beliefs, anticipated adverse effects, and health literacy that disproportionately affect blacks. Although multiple causes may contribute to racial disparity in blood pressure control, this disparity is not inevitable. Disparity in hypertension control is significantly smaller in the Veterans Administration Health System, where access barriers are fewer."

Elimination of racial disparity in blood pressure control is an attainable goal, provided sufficient resources are available to discover and address adherence barriers, the researchers conclude.

Funding for the research was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and through a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Blood Pressure Control Inequality Linked To Deaths Among African Americans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110190651.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2008, November 11). Blood Pressure Control Inequality Linked To Deaths Among African Americans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110190651.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Blood Pressure Control Inequality Linked To Deaths Among African Americans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110190651.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) — Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins