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Am J Hypertens. 1999 Oct;12(10 Pt 1):951-8.

Barriers to hypertension care and control in young urban black men.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2110, USA.


Barriers to high blood pressure (HBP) care and control have been reported in the literature for > 30 years. Few reports on barriers, however, have focused on the young black man with HBP, the age/sex/race group with the highest rates of early severe and complicated HBP and the lowest rates of awareness, treatment, and control. In a randomized clinical trial of comprehensive care for hypertensive young urban black men, factors potentially associated with care and control were assessed at baseline for the 309 enrolled men. A majority of the men encountered a variety of barriers including economic, social, and lifestyle obstacles to adequate BP care and control, including no current HBP care (49%), risk of alcoholism (62%), use of illicit drugs (45%), social isolation (47%), unemployment (40%), and lack of health insurance (51%). Having health insurance (odds ratio = 7.20, P = .00) and a negative urine drug screen (odds ratio = .56, P = .04) were significant predictors of being in HBP care. Low alcoholism risk and employment were identified as significant predictors of compliance with HBP medication-taking behavior. Men currently using illicit drugs were 2.64 times less likely to have controlled BP compared with their counterparts who did not use illicit drugs, and men currently taking HBP medication were 63 times more likely have controlled BP compared with men not taking HBP medication. Comprehensive interventions are needed to address socioeconomic and lifestyle issues as well as other barriers to care and treatment, if HBP care is to be salient and effective in this high risk group.

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