Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 157–165

Hypertension in the US Black Population: Risk Factors, Complications, and Potential Impact of Central Aortic Pressure on Effective Treatment

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10557-011-6367-8

Cite this article as:
Ferdinand, K.C. & Townsend, R.R. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther (2012) 26: 157. doi:10.1007/s10557-011-6367-8



The identification of specific factors that contribute to hypertension development and progression among blacks in the US is the focus of much ongoing research. The purpose of this paper is to review these factors and discuss how they present unique opportunities for improving the management of hypertension in this difficult-to-treat population.


We searched the published literature for articles discussing the risk factors for hypertension and cardiovascular disease in blacks; the target-organ damage and cardiovascular complications associated with hypertension in this difficult-to-treat population; and the role of central blood pressure in predicting cardiovascular events.


The prevalence of hypertension is higher in blacks than in other race/ethnic groups, with environmental and genetic risk factors likely playing an important role. The cardiovascular and renal consequences of hypertension (eg, left ventricular hypertrophy and renal failure) are also greater in blacks relative to their white counterparts. Preliminary data suggest that central blood pressure may be higher in blacks than in whites and has the potential for greater prognostic capability relative to peripheral blood pressure.


There is an urgent need to successfully control hypertension in the black population. Although data are limited in blacks, evidence suggests that central blood pressure warrants more continued assessment in future clinical studies.

Key words

Hypertension Blacks Race Morbidity Mortality Blood pressure 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of CardiologyTulane University School of Medicine and Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.New OrleansUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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