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Ethn Dis. 2003 Fall;13(4):456-62.

Hypertension in Blacks: a literature review.

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Emerging Investigations and Analytic Methods Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and third-leading causes of death in the United States. This review discusses the magnitude of the problem, its epidemiology, and the evaluation and management of hypertension as recommended by the reports of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. Activities related to the control of this disorder are also highlighted. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1998-1994, (NHANESIII) suggest approximately three-quarters (75%) of Black hypertensives are aware of their diagnosis, but only 57% are treated and just 25% have their blood pressure under control (<140 mm Hg systolic and <90 mm Hg diastolic). Although substantial evidence indicates a significant increase in awareness of hypertension over the past three decades, control rates are remarkably low, particularly among Blacks. This review serves to emphasize and reiterate the burden of hypertension among Blacks and acts as a reminder of the need for additional research to determine if culturally competent interventions are appropriate to prevent, treat, and control this disease within this population.

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