Optimal Treatment of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in African Americans: Treatment Approaches for Outpatients

Authors

  • Jackson T. Wright Jr. MD, PhD,

    1. From the Clinical Hypertension Program1 and the Division of Hypertension,2 University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
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  • and 1 Janice Douglas MD 2

    1. From the Clinical Hypertension Program1 and the Division of Hypertension,2 University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
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Jackson T. Wright, Jr., MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10901 Euclid Avenue, Medical Center, Room W-165 School of Medicine, Cleveland OH 44106-4982
E-mail: jxw20@po.cwru.edu

Abstract

African Americans have a higher prevalence and greater severity of hypertension compared with whites and therefore have a higher prevalence of many disease-related complications, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and end-stage renal disease. Minorities have been, until recently, underrepresented in large clinical trials, leading to a lack of outcome data for these patient groups. However, accumulating data confirm the benefit of aggressive blood pressure-lowering therapy in this population. These studies also show that most patients require combination therapy to achieve adequate blood pressure reduction, particularly high-risk patient groups that have lower target blood pressure goals. All of the available antihypertensive agents are effective in African Americans. Recent studies suggest that regimens containing a thiazide-type diuretic are unsurpassed in blood pressure lowering and prevention of major clinical complications, and they cost less. Thus, while other agents may be required for selected clinical indications or for blood pressure control, diuretics should be drugs of first choice or included in most antihypertensive regimens especially in African American hypertensives.

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