Racial differences in hypertension: implications for high blood pressure management

Am J Med Sci. 2014 Aug;348(2):135-8. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000308.


The racial disparity in hypertension and hypertension-related outcomes has been recognized for decades with African Americans with greater risks than Caucasians. Blood pressure levels have consistently been higher for African Americans with an earlier onset of hypertension. Although awareness and treatment levels of high blood pressure have been similar, racial differences in control rates are evident. The higher blood pressure levels for African Americans are associated with higher rates of stroke, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure. The reasons for the racial disparities in elevated blood pressure and hypertension-related outcomes risk remain unclear. However, the implications of the disparities of hypertension for prevention and clinical management are substantial, identifying African American men and women with excel hypertension risk and warranting interventions focused on these differences. In addition, focused research to identify the factors attributed to these disparities in risk burden is an essential need to address the evidence gaps.

MeSH terms

  • Black People
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / adverse effects
  • United States
  • White People


  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary