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WSU study finds overwhelming evidence of hidden heart disease in hypertensive African-Americans
Date:6/8/2012

nities," Levy said. "Blood pressure readings are taken for every patient in the ER. By not just taking in new information but also acting on it, we can substantively contribute to much-needed secondary disease prevention efforts."

In 2010, the CDC reported the financial burden of hypertension in the U.S. was $76.6 billion in health care, medication and missed days of work.

Recognizing the likelihood of previously unrecognized subclinical hypertensive heart disease prevalence in African-Americans holds therapeutic promise that could reduce the adverse outcomes, Levy said. Blacks progress from hidden to symptomatic stages of left-ventricular dysfunction more rapidly than other population groups, and the mean age of blacks admitted to hospitals with heart failure is much lower than that of whites (63.6 years versus 75.2 years).

"While we must recognize the risk that exists for these patients, we should not expect emergency departments to perform the further studies needed to identify subclinical end-organ damage," Levy said. "Emergency departments should focus on identification of poorly controlled hypertension whether or not it was the primary reason for the emergency visit and hospital systems, especially those where high disease prevalence exists, should have some coordinated mechanism where patients can be referred for follow-up. Moreover, at that follow-up, a mechanism should exist to perform effective intervention, including risk stratification, even if patients lack insurance."


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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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