, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 121-127
Date: 06 Apr 2008

Racial and ethnic differences in hypertension

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Hypertension is a major cause of disease burden in all racial and ethnic groups and in both developing and developed regions and countries. Much of the racial and ethnic disparity in cardiovascular outcomes can be attributed to the excess burden of hypertension. Racial and ethnic differences in blood pressure occur because of biology and sociology. Causes of racial differences in blood pressure likely begin early in life and reflect the complex relationship of these gene and environment interactions. Hypertension treatment and control remain less than optimal worldwide, and awareness is still a problem in many racial and ethnic groups. Instituting lifestyle changes for the primary prevention and treatment of hypertension among the general population would decrease prevalence and be effective in eliminating many racial and ethnic differences. This review highlights racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence and incidence of hypertension and identifies contributing factors associated with these differences.