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Report: African-American Women Have Higher Rates of Hypertension

African-Americans twice as likely as Caucasians to have unknown and untreated high blood pressure (December 23)

More African-American women have hypertension than African-American men and Caucasian men and women, according to new research published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

In a study of 70,000 people in the 12 southeastern states — referred to as “the stroke belt” because of its higher incidence of stroke — the hypertension rate among African-American women was 64% compared with 52% in Caucasian women and 51% in African-American and Caucasian men.

The researchers also found:

  • Fifty-seven percent of the people studied were diagnosed with hypertension.
  • Hypertension was more common in African-Americans (59%) than in Caucasians (52%).
  • African-Americans were twice as likely as Caucasians to have uncontrolled hypertension.
  • Men were more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension than women.
  • Among those who had hypertension, 31% of African-American men, 28% of African-American women, 27% of Caucasian men, and 17% of Caucasian women didn’t know it.
  • Among those who knew they had hypertension, 82% were being treated with medications.
  • Among people who knew they had hypertension, 44% were taking at least two types of medications, and only 29% were taking a diuretic — a recommended first-line treatment to lower blood pressure.

Source: AHA; December 23, 2013.

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