An observational study led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Mississippi Medical Center finds that preventing high blood pressure may dramatically reduce heart disease cases in African American adults.

The Study

Researchers, led by Paul Munter, PhD in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, examined almost 12,500 African American adults and found that almost 33% of cardiovascular disease cases in black adults were associated with hypertension. The study results evidence significant need for public health interventions to prevent hypertension. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Cardiology reports UAB News.

The researchers leveraged data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study based at the UAB School of Public Health, and the Jackson Heart Study to estimate the incidence rates and hazard ratios for cardiovascular disease associated with hypertension.

Hypertension Numbers

Based on the data from 2011-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey they found 54.7% of adult African Americans, compared with 47.3% of white adults and 36.7% Asian adults and 34.4% Hispanic adults in the United States are hypertensive.

Need for African American-Tailored Programs

The researchers recommend that based on the findings proactive and engaging new prevention programs that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke needs attention. Leading author Paul Munter, PhD, notes, “We know how to prevent hypertension. This includes eating a heart healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting down on salt, exercising more and losing weight.” Increasingly, researchers will seek non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent the development of hypertension. Lifestyle changes will be of paramount importance.

Lead Research/Investigators

Donald Clark, III, MD, MPH, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Paul Munter, PhD in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama

Call to Action: America is in the midst of a health crisis. Certain socioeconomic and ethnic groups have higher risk profiles, including African American adults. TrialSite News principals have been actively involved with social determinants of health-based community care coordination, such as the Whole Person Care program funded by a California-based Medicaid Waiver for Los Angeles County. The time to act is now.

Source: UAB News

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