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Understanding racial disparities in hypertension control: intensity of hypertension medication treatment in the REGARDS study.

TitleUnderstanding racial disparities in hypertension control: intensity of hypertension medication treatment in the REGARDS study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSafford, MM, Halanych, JH, Lewis, CE, Levine, D, Houser, S, Howard, G
JournalEthn Dis
Date Published2007 Summer
KeywordsAfrican Americans, Aged, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Healthcare Disparities, House Calls, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Practice Patterns, Physicians', United States

OBJECTIVES: African Americans (AA) suffer excess hypertension-related health outcomes and their blood pressures (BPs) are widely reported to be less controlled than European Americans (EA). Intensity of hypertension treatment may play a role. We examined whether AA with treated hypertension received less-intense medication regimens than EA, as reflected in the number of antihypertensive medication classes.DESIGN: Cross-sectional observation of baseline information from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke cohort. Participants were recruited by telephone in 2003-2005, completed a telephone survey, and had BP measured and medications recorded during an in-home visit. The study's outcome was the number of classes of antihypertensive medications.SETTING: U.S. national cohort study with oversampling from high stroke mortality regions. Participants were self-identified AA or EA, > or =45 years old, living in the community, and balanced on AA race and sex by design.PARTICIPANTS: 8960 individuals with treated hypertension.RESULTS: Mean age was 68.0 +/- 8.6 years. AA were poorer and less educated than EA, and had worse BP control (63.5% BP < 140/ 90 mm Hg for AA, 74.0% for EA, P < .01), yet they were on more classes of BP medication (24.1% on > or =3 classes, vs. 16.9%, P < .01). AA were taking an average of 0.138 more antihypertensive medication classes than otherwise similar EA (P < .01). More intense treatment persisted across all age, sex, education, income and BP groups.CONCLUSIONS: AA were more intensely treated for hypertension than EA. Further study to identify action strategies to eliminate racial differences in hypertension outcomes is warranted.

Alternate JournalEthn Dis
PubMed ID17985492
Grant ListR01 HL080477 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS041588 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
U01 NS041588 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States