, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1088-1089
Date: 06 Jul 2011

Vitamin D as a Mediator of Racial Differences in Blood Pressure

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Hypertension is a cardinal risk factor for myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, and death. Despite unfavorable trends in the prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles, overall hypertension prevalence was stable at ~29% between the 1999–2000 and 2007–2008 time periods1,2. This phenomenon has been attributed to improved hypertension awareness, higher treatment rates, and more intense regimens for hypertension. Unfortunately, overall hypertension prevalence among black Americans remains close to 40%, significantly higher than the level observed for whites and Hispanic groups2,3. Similar patterns of persistent racial differences despite overall improvement have been observed in cross-sectional studies of blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels4. Longitudinal studies also show increased odds of poor blood pressure control over time among Non-Hispanic blacks compared to whites5. In addition to increased prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, mortal