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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2003 Jan-Feb;5(1 Suppl 1):5-11.

Epidemiology of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in African Americans.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Clinical Applications Program, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular-renal morbidity and mortality and all-cause mortality. It is a highly significant problem for African Americans; about 30% of all deaths in this population are attributable to hypertension. Compared with whites, hypertension in African Americans is more prevalent, occurs earlier in life, is more severe, and is more often associated with target organ injury such as left ventricular hypertrophy and other cardiovascular complications. Only 25% of all African Americans with hypertension and fewer than 50% of those receiving drug treatment attain a blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg. These control rates are somewhat less than in white Americans. Enhanced awareness and understanding of the epidemiologic patterns of hypertension, other cardiovascular risk factors, risk-factor control rates, and factors influencing these control rates should lead to better approaches to risk-factor control. This most likely would result in a reduction of cardiovascular disease complications.

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