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Racial Differences in Hypertension: Implications for High Blood Pressure Management

  • Daniel T. Lackland
    Correspondence
    Correspondence: Daniel T. Lackland, DrPH, Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Suite 501, Harborview Office Tower, Charleston, SC 29425
    Affiliations
    From the Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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      Abstract

      The racial disparity in hypertension and hypertension-related outcomes has been recognized for decades with African Americans with greater risks than caucasians. Blood pressure levels have consistently been higher for African Americans with an earlier onset of hypertension. Although awareness and treatment levels of high blood pressure have been similar, racial differences in control rates are evident. The higher blood pressure levels for African Americans are associated with higher rates of stroke, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure. The reasons for the racial disparities in elevated blood pressure and hypertension-related outcomes risk remain unclear. However, the implications of the disparities of hypertension for prevention and clinical management are substantial, identifying African American men and women with excel hypertension risk and warranting interventions focused on these differences. in addition, focused research to identify the factors attributed to these disparities in risk burden is an essential need to address the evidence gaps.

      Key Indexing Terms

      The racial disparities in hypertension and hypertension-related disease outcomes have been related mortality morbidity risks compared with their white counterparts. These excess risks from elevated blood pressure have a dramatic effect on life expectancy for African American men and women, which is significantly less than for Caucasian Americans. Stroke mortality risks are 2-fold greater for African Americans.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Bachman D.L.
      • Carter T.D.
      • et al.
      The geographic variation in stroke incidence in two areas of the southeastern stroke belt: the Anderson and Pee Dee Stroke Study.
      End-stage renal disease is 5 times more common for African American men and women. In addition, the age of onset of diseases such as stroke is considerably earlier for African Americans. For example, a 45-year-old African American man residing in the Southeast has the stroke risk of a 55-year-old white man in the Southeast and a 65-year-old white man residing in the Midwest.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Bachman D.L.
      • Carter T.D.
      • et al.
      The geographic variation in stroke incidence in two areas of the southeastern stroke belt: the Anderson and Pee Dee Stroke Study.
      Although high blood pressure affects all segments of the population, high blood pressure rates are more prevalent among African American men and women.
      • Ford E.S.
      Trends in mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease among hypertensive and nonhypertensive adults in the United States.
      The increased prevalence and relative risks constitute significant population attributable risks.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • et al.
      Outcomes of black and white hypertensive individuals after 30 years of follow-up.
      Specifically, the population attributable risk of hypertension and 30-year mortality among white men was 23.8% compared with 45.2% among black men and 18.3% for white women compared with 39.5% for black women. These excess disease risks have been long recognized and reported from the Evans County Heart Study
      • Keil J.E.
      • Sutherland S.E.
      • Knapp R.G.
      • et al.
      Mortality rates and risk factors for coronary disease in blacks as compared with white men and women.
      and the Charleston Heart Study,
      • Keil J.E.
      • Sutherland S.E.
      • Hames C.G.
      • et al.
      Coronary disease mortality in black and white men.
      which were both initiated in 1960 specifically to study these racial disparities in cardiovascular disease in adults. Similarly, the Bogalusa Heart Study
      • Li X.
      • Li S.
      • Ulusoy E.
      • et al.
      Childhood adiposity as a predictor of cardiac mass in adulthood: the Bogalusa Heart Study.
      assessed the racial differences in children and young adults. More recently, the Jackson Heart Study
      • Taylor H.A.
      Establishing a foundation for cardiovascular disease research in an African American community: the Jackson Heart Study.
      has been established to assess cardiovascular risk factors in this population. Furthermore, the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study has further documented and confirmed the racial and geographic differences in awareness, treatment and control of hypertension.
      • Howard G.
      • Prineas R.
      • Moy C.
      • et al.
      Racial and geographic differences in awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension: the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study.
      With these large epidemiology studies, high blood pressure has been a common significant factor associated with the excess disease burden for African Americans.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      Epidemiology of hypertension in African Americans.

      BLOOD PRESSURE AND HYPERTENSION LEVELS

      Nearly one third of the adult population in the united States is considered to have hypertension with elevated blood pressure (≥140/90 mm Hg) and/or being treated with antihypertensive medication. The prevalence of hypertension is higher in both middle-aged and older African Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites.
      • Burt V.L.
      • Whelton P.
      • Roccella E.J.
      • et al.
      Prevalence of hypertension in the US adult population. Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1991.
      • Hertz R.P.
      • Unger A.N.
      • Cornell J.A.
      • et al.
      Racial disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, and management.
      As presented in Figure 1, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show the racial disparities with black men and women having significantly higher rates of hypertension than white men and women.
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      • Guo F.
      • He D.
      • Zhang W.
      • et al.
      Trends in prevalence, awareness, management, and control of hypertension among United States adults, 1999 to 2010.
      The prevalence rates increased for all 4 race-sex groups from the 1988 to 1994 period to the 2009 to 2010 period. However, the racial disparities in hypertension prevalence remained consistent over the time periods. These racial differences are evidence at all ages. Blacks are found to develop hypertension at an earlier age than whites. An assessment of U.S. children aged 8 years to 17 years found systolic blood pressures (SBPs) to be 2.9 mm Hg and 1.6 mm Hg higher in black boys and girls compared with age-matched white boys and girls.
      • Muntner P.
      • He J.
      • Cutler J.A.
      • et al.
      Trends in blood pressure among children and adolescents.
      With the consistent racial differences at all ages, it is evident that disparities in hypertension represent a lifetime consideration.
      • Go A.S.
      • Mozaffarian D.
      • Roger V.L.
      • American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee
      • et al.
      Heart disease and stroke statistics-2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association.
      • Lackland D.T.
      Racial disparities in hypertension.
      • Lackland D.T.
      High blood pressure: a lifetime issue.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1Prevalence of hypertension (percent of adult population). U.S. 1998 to 1994 and 1999 to 2004.
      Adapted from Cutler et al
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      and Guo et al.
      • Guo F.
      • He D.
      • Zhang W.
      • et al.
      Trends in prevalence, awareness, management, and control of hypertension among United States adults, 1999 to 2010.
      Adaptations are themselves works protected by copyright. So in order to publish this adaptation, authorization must be obtained both from the owner of the copyright in the original work and from the owner of copyright in the translation or adaptation.

      HYPERTENSION TREATMENT AND CONTROL

      Although large-scale clinical trials have consistently demonstrated that the control of elevated blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of major cardiovascular disease, stroke and end-stage renal disease outcomes, a substantial portion of patients with hypertension do not achieve blood pressure control.
      • Go A.S.
      • Mozaffarian D.
      • Roger V.L.
      • American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee
      • et al.
      Heart disease and stroke statistics-2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association.
      Data from the National Health and Examination Survey suggest that blood pressure is controlled for less than two thirds of all patients on antihypertensive medications.
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      • Hajjar I.
      • Kotchen T.A.
      Trends in prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in the United States, 1998–2000.
      African Americans demonstrated poorer blood pressure control compared with Caucasians. Figure 2 presents the hypertension control rates for all 4 race-sex groups from 1988 to 2010. Although the high blood pressure control rates improved from the 1988 to 1994 period to the 2009 to 2010 period for all 4 race-sex groups, the racial disparities remained consistent. These findings of disparities in hypertension control are consistent with other studies.
      • Howard G.
      • Prineas R.
      • Moy C.
      • et al.
      Racial and geographic differences in awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension: the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study.
      • Hertz R.P.
      • Unger A.N.
      • Cornell J.A.
      • et al.
      Racial disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, and management.
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      • Lloyd-Jones D.M.
      • Evans J.C.
      • Larson M.G.
      • et al.
      Differential control of systolic and diastolic blood pressure: factors associated with lack of blood pressure control in the community.
      • Bosworth H.B.
      • Powers B.
      • Grubber J.M.
      • et al.
      Racial differences in blood pressure control: potential explanatory factors.
      The racial differences in control rates cannot be attributed to differences in rates of awareness and treatment.
      • Howard G.
      • Prineas R.
      • Moy C.
      • et al.
      Racial and geographic differences in awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension: the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      Epidemiology of hypertension in African Americans.
      • Hertz R.P.
      • Unger A.N.
      • Cornell J.A.
      • et al.
      Racial disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, and management.
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      • Go A.S.
      • Mozaffarian D.
      • Roger V.L.
      • American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee
      • et al.
      Heart disease and stroke statistics-2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association.
      • Hajjar I.
      • Kotchen T.A.
      Trends in prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in the United States, 1998–2000.
      • Ostchega Y.
      • Yoon S.S.
      • Hughes J.
      • et al.
      Rates of awareness of hypertension and treatment patterns of antihypertensive therapy are similar for both race groups and even better among black men and women compared with white men and women. Likewise, treatment with nonpharmacological therapy does not explain the racial disparities in hypertension control. Results from clinical trials have included race in results with suggested treatment effects for the various racial groups. Dietary factors including sodium and potassium, while different for blacks and whites, do not explain the racial disparities in hypertension. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet with sodium restriction found better BP reduction for African Americans than Caucasians, indicating that black individuals may respond differently than whites.
      • Svetkey L.P.
      • Simons-Martin D.
      • Vollmer W.M.
      Effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure: subgroup analysis of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) randomized clinical trial.
      • Vollmer W.M.
      • Sacks F.M.
      • Ard J.
      • et al.
      Effects of diet and sodium intake on blood pressure: subgroup analysis of the DASH-sodium trial.
      Similarly, treatment of elevated blood pressure with antihypertensive medications and different medications may produce different effects in African Americans and whites. Calcium channel blockers and diuretics have been proposed as being particularly effective for African Americans with hypertension.
      • Materson B.J.
      • Reda D.
      • Cushman W.C.
      Department of veterans affairs cooperative study group on antihypertensive agents. Department of veterans affairs and new data.
      • Saunders E.
      • Weir M.R.
      • Kong B.W.
      • et al.
      A comparison of the efficacy and safety of a beta-blocker, a calcium channel blocker, and a converting enzyme inhibitor in hypertensive blacks.
      • Moser M.
      • Lunn J.
      Responses to captopril and hydrochlorothiazide in black patients with hypertension.
      Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers have not been shown to be as effective in black populations compared with white populations.
      • Saunders E.
      • Weir M.R.
      • Kong B.W.
      • et al.
      A comparison of the efficacy and safety of a beta-blocker, a calcium channel blocker, and a converting enzyme inhibitor in hypertensive blacks.
      • Moser M.
      • Lunn J.
      Responses to captopril and hydrochlorothiazide in black patients with hypertension.
      • Weir M.R.
      • Gray J.M.
      • Paster R.
      • et al.
      Differing mechanisms of action of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition in black and white hypertensive patients.
      Similarly, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and β blockers have been reported to be less effective in blacks with heart failure compared with white patients.
      • Cohn J.N.
      Contemporary treatment of heart failure: is there adequate evidence to support a unique strategy for African Americans? Pro position.
      However, it is important to consider sample size and confounders, as well as study design when interpreting these results.
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      Figure 2Percent of hypertensive adult population with controlled blood pressure levels. U.S. 1988 to 1994, 1999 to 2004 and 2009 to 2010.
      Adapted from Cutler et al
      • Cutler J.A.
      • Sorlie P.D.
      • Wolz M.
      • et al.
      Trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control rates in United States adults between 1988–1994 and 1999–2004.
      and Guo et al.
      • Guo F.
      • He D.
      • Zhang W.
      • et al.
      Trends in prevalence, awareness, management, and control of hypertension among United States adults, 1999 to 2010.
      Adaptations are themselves works protected by copyright. So in order to publish this adaptation, authorization must be obtained both from the owner of the copyright in the original work and from the owner of copyright in the translation or adaptation.

      HYPERTENSION RISKS

      The higher hypertension prevalence at earlier ages and more severe blood pressure levels correlate with the higher disease risks for blacks compared with whites. The risk ratios for stage 1 hypertension (≤140/90 mm Hg) and stage 2 hypertension (≥160/95 mm Hg) are presented in Table 1 for the 4 race-sex groups and 30-year all-cause morality.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • et al.
      Outcomes of black and white hypertensive individuals after 30 years of follow-up.
      The risk ratios are significant for all but are greater for black men and women. Likewise, the risk ratios are higher in the more severe blood pressure levels for all 4 race-sex groups with higher risks for black men and women compared with white men and women.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • et al.
      Outcomes of black and white hypertensive individuals after 30 years of follow-up.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Mountford W.K.
      • et al.
      Comparison of cardiovascular risk factors for high brachial pulse pressure in blacks versus whites (Charleston Heart Study, Evans County Study, NHANES I and II Studies).
      The disparities of higher prevalence and greater risks from high blood pressure are most evident with the population attributable risks, which are nearly twice as great for black men and women (Table 2).
      Table 1Thirty-year mortality risk ratios and 95% CI for elevated blood pressure (≥140/90 mm Hg) adjusting forage, socioeconomic status, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes: Charleston and Evans County Heart Studies, 1960
      Adapted from Lackland et al.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • et al.
      Outcomes of black and white hypertensive individuals after 30 years of follow-up.
      Adaptations are themselves works protected by copyright. So in order to publish this adaptation, authorization must be obtained both from the owner of the copyright in the original work and from the owner of copyright in the translation or adaptation.
      White malesWhite femalesBlack malesBlack females
      140/901.6 (1.2–2.0)1.4 (1.1–2.0)2.1 (1.3–3.1)2.0 (1.2–2.8)
      160/951.8 (1.3–2.2)2.0 (1.2–2.6)2.4 (1.5–3.5)2.4 (1.6–3.2)
      Table 2Thirty-year population attributable risks for hypertension and all-cause mortality: Charleston Heart Study and Evans County Heart Study, 1960
      Adapted from: Lackland et al.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Keil J.E.
      • Gazes P.C.
      • et al.
      Outcomes of black and white hypertensive individuals after 30 years of follow-up.
      Adaptations are themselves works protected by copyright. So in order to publish this adaptation, authorization must be obtained both from the owner of the copyright in the original work and from the owner of copyright in the translation or adaptation.
      White males23.8%
      White females18.3%
      Black males45.2%
      Black females39.5%
      In addition to hypertension risk from categories, the racial disparity is also evident in blood pressure level. Table 3 shows results from REGARDS and an impact of a 10-mm Hg higher level of SBP for white and black participants.
      • Howard G.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Kleindorfer D.O.
      • et al.
      Racial differences in the impact of elevated systolic blood pressure on stroke risk.
      In the total cohort, there was a 14% increased risk of stroke associated with a 10-mm Hg higher SBP (hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.21). However, racial differences in this association were identified (P-value for interaction, 0.02) with an 8% increase in whites (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.00–1.16) and a 24% increase in blacks (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.14–1.35).
      • Howard G.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Kleindorfer D.O.
      • et al.
      Racial differences in the impact of elevated systolic blood pressure on stroke risk.
      These disparities in risks remained evident after long-term follow-up of the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Study.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Egan B.M.
      • Mountford W.K.
      • et al.
      Thirty-year survival for black and white hypertensive individuals in the Evans County Heart Study and the hypertension detection and follow-up program.
      Table 3Hazard ratio and 95% CI for stroke and 10 mm Hg systolic blood pressure differential racial susceptibility, reasons for geographic and racial disparities in Stroke Study
      Adapted from Howard et al.
      • Howard G.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Kleindorfer D.O.
      • et al.
      Racial differences in the impact of elevated systolic blood pressure on stroke risk.
      Adaptations are themselves works protected by copyright. So in order to publish this adaptation, authorization must be obtained both from the owner of the copyright in the original work and from the owner of copyright in the translation or adaptation.
      WhitesBlacks
      1.08 (1.0–1.16)1.25 (1.14–1.35)

      FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH RACIAL DISPARITIES

      Although the disparities in blood pressure levels, hypertension prevalence and control and high blood pressure risks are evident, the factors associated with the race differences are less evident. However, several parameters are proposed that may contribute to the disparities.
      • Jones D.W.
      • Hall J.E.
      Racial and ethnic differences in blood pressure: biology and sociology.

      Salt Sensitivity

      While salt intake affects blood pressure in most individuals and populations, there are racial differences in intake and handling of sodium and potassium.
      • Andrew M.E.
      • Jones D.W.
      • Wofford M.R.
      • et al.
      Ethnicity and unprovoked hypokalemia in the atherosclerosis risk in Communities Study.
      Although the prevalence of salt sensitivity was similar for African American and Caucasian women, the magnitude of blood pressure increase was different.
      • Wright J.T.
      • Scarpa M.A.
      • Fatholahi M.
      • et al.
      Determinants of salt sensitivity in black and white normotensive and hypertensive women.
      Blood pressure increase was greater in African Americans, with a positive association of salt sensitivity associated with Na Ca2 intake and the ratios of Na:K and Ca2:Mg2.
      • Wright J.T.
      • Scarpa M.A.
      • Fatholahi M.
      • et al.
      Determinants of salt sensitivity in black and white normotensive and hypertensive women.

      Body Mass

      Racial differences in body mass index have long been recognized and suggestive of disparities in blood pressure level and hypertension prevalence. African Americans have been identified with higher rates of obesity and overweight at different age groups.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Orchard T.J.
      • Keil J.E.
      • et al.
      Are race differences in the prevalence of hypertension explained by body mass and fat distribution?.
      • Wang X.
      • Poole J.C.
      • Treiber F.A.
      • et al.
      Ethnic and gender differences in ambulatory blood pressure trajectories: results from a 15-year longitudinal study in youth and young adults.
      However, while body mass affects blood pressure level in both race groups, anthropometric measurements do not explain all of the disparities in high blood pressure levls.
      • Andrew M.E.
      • Jones D.W.
      • Wofford M.R.
      • et al.
      Ethnicity and unprovoked hypokalemia in the atherosclerosis risk in Communities Study.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Orchard T.J.
      • Keil J.E.
      • et al.
      Are race differences in the prevalence of hypertension explained by body mass and fat distribution?.
      • Wang X.
      • Poole J.C.
      • Treiber F.A.
      • et al.
      Ethnic and gender differences in ambulatory blood pressure trajectories: results from a 15-year longitudinal study in youth and young adults.

      Resistant and Refractory Hypertension

      Resistant hypertension is defined as uncontrolled blood pressure despite the use of 3 or more antihypertensive agent classes or controlled blood pressure with 4 or more agents.
      • Calhoun D.A.
      • Jones D.
      • Rextor S.
      • et al.
      American Heart Association scientific statement on resistant hypertension: diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment.
      Refractory hypertension represents the extreme phenotype of hypertension treatment failure and is defined as the use of 5 or more antihypertensive classes of medication with a SBP of ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure of ≥90 mm Hg.
      • Calhoun D.A.
      • Booth J.N.
      • Oparil S.
      • et al.
      Refractory hypertension: determination of prevalence, risk factors, and comorbidities in a large, population-based cohort.
      The prevalence ratios for refractory hypertension when compared with individuals with resistant hypertension were 3.00 (1.68–5.37) for African Americans.
      • Calhoun D.A.
      • Booth J.N.
      • Oparil S.
      • et al.
      Refractory hypertension: determination of prevalence, risk factors, and comorbidities in a large, population-based cohort.
      Likewise, there are numerous other factors with significant racial differences that could affect the disparities in hypertension including social determinants, access to care, fetal/early life origins and differential treatment response.
      • Jones D.W.
      • Hall J.E.
      Racial and ethnic differences in blood pressure: biology and sociology.
      • Lillie-Blanton M.
      • Parsons P.E.
      • Gayle H.
      • et al.
      Racial differences in health: not just black and white, but shades of gray.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Lin Y.
      • Tilley B.C.
      • et al.
      An assessment of racial differences in clinical practices for hypertension at primary care sites for medically underserved patients.
      • Lackland D.T.
      Fetal and early life determinants of hypertension in adults: implications for study.
      • Douglas J.G.
      • Bakris G.L.
      • Epstein M.
      • Hypertension in African Americans Working Group of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks
      • et al.
      Management of high blood pressure in African Americans: consensus statement of the hypertension in African Americans Working Group of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks.

      CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

      The racial disparities in hypertension and hypertension risks have significant implications for high blood pressure prevention, management and control programs and strategies, as well as gaps in research. Decades of hypertension control efforts have been attributed in part to the decline in stroke mortality identified for the past decades.
      • Lackland D.T.
      • Roccella E.J.
      • Deutsch A.F.
      • American Heart Association Stroke Council
      • Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
      • Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research
      • Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology
      • et al.
      Factors influencing the decline in stroke mortality: a statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
      Although clinical guidelines and prevention strategies recognize the racial disparities in risks from hypertension,
      • Chobanian A.V.
      • Bakris G.L.
      • Black H.R.
      • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee
      • et al.
      The Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 report.
      • James P.A.
      • Oparil S.
      • Carter B.L.
      • et al.
      2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8).
      evidence from clinical trials and clinical studies is often inadequate and insufficient with regard to high-risk populations such African Americans.

      Wright JT, Fine LJ, Lackland DT, et al. Evidence supporting a systolic blood pressure goal of less than 150 mm Hg in patients aged 60 years or older: the minority view. Ann Intern Med Available at http://annals.org/. Accessed January 13, 2014.

      Likewise, there remain evidence gaps for the factors associated with the disparities. Thus, the evidence-based guidelines for prevention, treatment and management of hypertension inadequately address the excess risk of high blood pressure for African Americans. The opportunity is great for the implementation of research epidemiological studies and clinical trials focused on the assessment of the racial disparities in blood pressure levels and hypertension risks. These results could be used to implement strategies to close the racial disparity gap in high blood pressure risks.

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