A study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has shown that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a predictor of mortality among breast cancer patients, especially those who are African-American, and that hypertension accounts for approximately 30 percent of the survival disparity between African-American and white breast cancer patients.
According to the study's lead author, UCSF epidemiologist Dejana Braithwaite, PhD, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, who also is an affiliate with the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, this is the first study to link cancer mortality with hypertension, and specifically the first to show that hypertension is a predictor of mortality among African-American breast cancer patients.
"White women are more likely to get breast cancer, but African-American women are more likely to die from it," said Braithwaite. "We were trying to shed light on the factors that contribute to disparities in survival between the two groups."
The results are published in the March 2009 print edition of the International Journal of Cancer and appear online at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121431839/HTMLSTART.
The study included 416 African-American and 838 white women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1973 and 1986, following them through 1999. All of the women in the study were patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. The patients were all residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and had a known stage of disease and course of cancer treatment.
Kaiser Permanente members are representative of the general population for many ethnic, demographic and socioeconomic categories, except for the very high and very low ends of the economic spectrum, according to the study. The researchers used data from patient re
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University of California - San Francisco