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A primer on hypertension and on the racial / ethnic disparities in diagnosis and management: a comprehensive overview

International Journal of Family & Community Medicine
Ivy Njoloma,1 Nasheria Lewis,1 Frantz Sainvil,1,2,3 George P Einstein,1,3 Andrew Sciranka,1 Orien L Tulp1,2,3


Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide, where it contributes to stroke, cardiovascular and renal disease. Forty percent of adults aged 30-79 years worldwide have hypertension, two-thirds of whom are living in low and middle-income countries. Most adults with hypertension are not fully aware that they have the condition, therefore it often goes ignored and untreated. Of the 1.28 billion people worldwide, who have been reported to have hypertension, data indicates that one in five females and one in four males are included in that estimate. Moreover, data from World Health Organization reports that less than half of adults (42%) with hypertension are diagnosed and treated adequately and approximately only one in five adults (21%) with hypertension have it under adequate control. One of the worldwide goals for non-communicable diseases is to scale back the prevalence of hypertension by 33% between 2010 and 2030. In African Americans, readily available thiazide diuretics or Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs) have been shown to be more effective in lowering blood pressure than Renin Angiotensin System inhibitors (RAS) or β-adrenergic blockers and are also more effective in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) events than RAS inhibitors or adrenergic blockers. The ethnical difference in hypertension and hypertension- related complaint issues are associated with lesser mortality and morbidity pitfalls compared with their white counterparts. These redundant pitfalls from elevated blood pressure have a dramatic effect on life expectancy and career productivity for African American men and women and which is significantly lower than has been reported for Caucasian Americans of either gender. These present challenges remain to be completely understood and give a result to overcome ethnical and racial differences in the frequency and treatment of hypertension. Social determinants of health similar as educational status, access to health care and low income play a crucial part in frequency and blood pressure control rates. Development of appropriate health care programs at the state and public situations to address these issues will be essential to reduce these differences. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to review the prevalence and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and to suggest steps to improve the outcomes.


hypertension, obesity, population disparities