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Hispanics' hypertension better controlled with equal access to care
Date:9/13/2007

on-Hispanic whites enrolled at sites in the mainland U.S. and Canada.

The ALLHAT study included 32,642 Hispanic whites, Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in a randomized practice-based trial in 623 sites in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Researchers conducted ALLHAT to determine what type of drug was more effective in preventing the cardiovascular complications of hypertension in high-risk men and women. Participants were seen every three months the first year and every four months thereafter. All had hypertension and at least one additional risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Participants were treated with one of three initial drugs, and then additional therapy if the hypertension was not controlled. The goal was for participants to reach a blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg.

This was the first study to compare blood pressure control in these four race-ethnicity categories, said Margolis, who is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. Hispanic ALLHAT participants were more likely than non-Hispanic participants to have higher, uncontrolled blood pressure despite treatment at the time of enrollment, she said.

Margolis stressed the importance of controlling blood pressure in Hispanics, the largest ethnic minority in the United States at 14 percent of the population. Blood pressure was controlled in more than two-thirds of Hispanic ALLHAT participants with commonly available medications, she said. The low rate of blood pressure control in U.S. Hispanics is does not appear to be a result of biological factors.

Hispanics are less likely to have health insurance or a regular source of medical care and are less likely to receive preventive services. This suggests methods we can use to attack the problem of blood pressure control in Hispanic populations.

Efforts to improve blood pressure control in Hispanics should also focus on improving
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Contact: Karen Astle
karen.astle@heart.org
214-706-1396
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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