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Hispanic Ethnicity No Barrier to Hypertension Control

Once access and cost issues are overcome, blood pressure control can be the same as for other ethnic groups

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that blood pressure control among Hispanic populations has been suboptimal, once cost and access barriers are overcome there are no racial disparities in prevention of hypertension, according to a report published online Sept. 10 in Hypertension.

Karen L. Margolis, M.D., of HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a study of 32,642 Hispanic white (16 percent of the cohort), Hispanic black (3 percent), non-Hispanic white (48 percent) and non-Hispanic black people (33 percent).

Blood pressure was more likely to be uncontrolled among Hispanic participants initially, but in the course of the trial, in which medicines were provided at no cost and all participants had equal access to care, the proportion of Hispanics with blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg was greater than that of non-Hispanics within six to 12 months.

By the fourth year of follow-up, blood pressure was controlled among only 59 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 67 percent of non-Hispanic whites compared with 69 percent of Hispanic blacks and 72 percent of Hispanic whites.

Biological factors have been proposed as one possible reason why historically, blood pressure control among Hispanics has been behind that of other racial groups, but this study refutes this, the authors note. "The evidence is clear: blood pressure control in Hispanic patients is an achievable goal and should, therefore, be declared a public health priority."

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