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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2014 Feb;15(2):159-61. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2014.857403. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

What role does African ancestry play in how hypertensive patients respond to certain antihypertensive drug therapy?

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University of KwaZulu Natal, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, Department of Medicine , Private Bag 7, Congella 4013, Durban , South Africa


This article is a summary of the response of the four commonly used antihypertensive agents in African ancestry patients. They are thiazide like diuretics or indapamide, calcium channel blockers (CCB), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin receptor blockers, and β-adrenergic blockers (ARB). Response was superior in African ancestry patients on a thiazide like diuretic or indapamide and CCB, while the response to β-adrenergic blockers and ACEI are attenuated. Available data are very limited but self-defined ancestry seems to be the best predictor of individual responses to antihypertensive drugs. Knowledge of the factors like economic and social consideration affect the lower rate of detection, treatment and control of hypertension in the African ancestry population of the USA. For regions in which health care resources are particularly scarce, investment in population-based primary prevention strategies may yield the largest benefit.

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