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J Natl Med Assoc. 2002 Apr;94(4):236-48.

A model of psychosocial and cultural antecedents of blood pressure control.

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  • 1Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, NC 27705, USA.


Hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor for stroke, congestive heart failure, and end-stage renal disease. Hypertension is particularly prevalent and deadly among African Americans. Effective treatment for hypertension has been available for decades, yet only one fourth of all individuals have their blood pressure under control. Despite the potential impact of hypertension, interventions to improve control have had limited success. We present a model of how to understand antecedents of blood pressure control according to three interrelated categories: patient characteristics, social and cultural environment, and medical environment. This theoretical paper was conducted using a literature review and a model to explain psychosocial antecedents of blood pressure control is presented. We conclude that improved understanding of important antecedents of blood pressure control coupled with technological advances, such as tailored interventions, provide clinicians with a tool that may lead to improved blood pressure control. These interventions will require the involvement of clinicians and consideration of sociocultural factors to be successful.

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