Minor DS, Wofford MR, Jones DW. Racial and ethnic differences in hypertension
Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine/Hypertension, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA. Current Atherosclerosis Reports
(Impact Factor: 3.42).
05/2008; 10(2):121-7. DOI: 10.1007/s11883-008-0018-y
Hypertension is a major cause of disease burden in all racial and ethnic groups and in both developing and developed regions and countries. Much of the racial and ethnic disparity in cardiovascular outcomes can be attributed to the excess burden of hypertension. Racial and ethnic differences in blood pressure occur because of biology and sociology. Causes of racial differences in blood pressure likely begin early in life and reflect the complex relationship of these gene and environment interactions. Hypertension treatment and control remain less than optimal worldwide, and awareness is still a problem in many racial and ethnic groups. Instituting lifestyle changes for the primary prevention and treatment of hypertension among the general population would decrease prevalence and be effective in eliminating many racial and ethnic differences. This review highlights racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence and incidence of hypertension and identifies contributing factors associated with these differences.
Available from: Annibale Cois
- "Besides income and education, racial group assignment may indirectly capture differences in household wealth, genetic ancestry, social stress (e.g. migration, discrimination) and dietary intake, possible confounders of the association between income and blood pressure not otherwise captured in our analyses
[52-57]. These considerations justify its introduction as a confounder in the models. "
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Epidemiological research has long observed a varying prevalence of hypertension across socioeconomic strata. However, patterns of association and underlying causal mechanisms are poorly understood in sub-Saharan Africa. Using education and income as indicators, we investigated the extent to which socioeconomic status is linked to blood pressure in the first wave of the National Income Dynamics Study — a South African longitudinal study of more than 15000 adults – and whether bio-behavioural risk factors mediate the association.
In a cross-sectional analysis, structural equation modelling was employed to estimate the effect of socioeconomic status on systolic and diastolic blood pressure and to assess the role of a set of bio-behavioural risk factors in explaining the observed relationships.
After adjustment for age, race and antihypertensive treatment, higher education and income were independently associated with higher diastolic blood pressure in men. In women higher education predicted lower values of both diastolic and systolic blood pressure while higher income predicted lower systolic blood pressure. In both genders, body mass index was a strong mediator of an adverse indirect effect of socioeconomic status on blood pressure. Together with physical exercise, alcohol use, smoking and resting heart rate, body mass index therefore contributed substantially to mediation of the observed relationships in men. By contrast, in women unmeasured factors played a greater role.
In countries undergoing epidemiological transition, effects of socioeconomic status on blood pressure may vary by gender. In women, factors other than those listed above may have substantial role in mediating the association and merit investigation.
Available from: Paulo R Alencastro
- "The relationship between alcohol consumption and hypertension may be influenced by some characteristics, such as skin color  . Skin color has been identified as a marker of lifestyle    and, in some countries, it may also be "
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ABSTRACT: Introduction. Although alcohol abuse is associated with hypertension in whites and nonwhites, it has been scarcely investigated in HIV-infected patients. Objective. To investigate whether the association of alcohol abuse with hypertension is influenced by skin color in HIV-infected individuals. Methods. Cross-sectional study in HIV-infected individuals aged 18 years or older. Demographic characteristics, lifestyle, and HIV infection were investigated. Alcohol abuse was defined as ≥15 (women) and ≥30 g/alcohol/day (men), and binge drinking by the intake of ≥5 drinks on a single occasion. Hypertension was defined by blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg or use of blood pressure-lowering agents. Results. We studied 1,240 individuals, with 39.1 ± 10 years, 51% males and 57% whites. Age and body mass index were associated with blood pressure, and there was an independent association of alcohol abuse with hypertension in whites (RR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3) and nonwhites (RR = 2.4, 95% CI 1.4 to 4.0). Among nonwhite individuals who were alcohol abusers, systolic (9.3 ± 3.2; P = 0.001) and diastolic blood pressures (6.4 ± 2.1; P = 0.008) were higher than in nonabusers. Conclusion. Alcohol abuse is a risk factor for hypertension in white and nonwhite HIV-infected individuals. The association of ethanol consumption with blood pressure is not explained by AIDS-related conditions.
Available from: Oliver R Frank
- "However, study design as well as type of control might be indirect predictors, as about half the trials using a crossover design and white chocolate as flavanol-free control were conducted by the same two teams and within similar study populations [10,13,16,18]. It is possible that participants shared characteristics that contributed to their responsiveness to cocoa products, such as local dietary habits or genetic/ethnic disparity [47,48]. Inclusion of trial location as a variable was impractical in our meta-regression analysis; however, future research may explore this further. "
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ABSTRACT: Dark chocolate and flavanol-rich cocoa products have attracted interest as an alternative treatment option for hypertension, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Previous meta-analyses concluded that cocoa-rich foods may reduce blood pressure. Recently, several additional trials have been conducted with conflicting results. Our study summarises current evidence on the effect of flavanol-rich cocoa products on blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive individuals.
We searched Medline, Cochrane and international trial registries between 1955 and 2009 for randomised controlled trials investigating the effect of cocoa as food or drink compared with placebo on systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP) for a minimum duration of 2 weeks. We conducted random effects meta-analysis of all studies fitting the inclusion criteria, as well as subgroup analysis by baseline blood pressure (hypertensive/normotensive). Meta-regression analysis explored the association between type of treatment, dosage, duration or baseline blood pressure and blood pressure outcome. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Fifteen trial arms of 13 assessed studies met the inclusion criteria. Pooled meta-analysis of all trials revealed a significant blood pressure-reducing effect of cocoa-chocolate compared with control (mean BP change +/- SE: SBP: -3.2 +/- 1.9 mmHg, P = 0.001; DBP: -2.0 +/- 1.3 mmHg, P = 0.003). However, subgroup meta-analysis was significant only for the hypertensive or prehypertensive subgroups (SBP: -5.0 +/- 3.0 mmHg; P = 0.0009; DBP: -2.7 +/- 2.2 mm Hg, P = 0.01), while BP was not significantly reduced in the normotensive subgroups (SBP: -1.6 +/- 2.3 mmHg, P = 0.17; DBP: -1.3 +/- 1.6 mmHg, P = 0.12). Nine trials used chocolate containing 50% to 70% cocoa compared with white chocolate or other cocoa-free controls, while six trials compared high- with low-flavanol cocoa products. Daily flavanol dosages ranged from 30 mg to 1000 mg in the active treatment groups, and interventions ran for 2 to 18 weeks. Meta-regression analysis found study design and type of control to be borderline significant but possibly indirect predictors for blood pressure outcome.
Our meta-analysis suggests that dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension. Flavanol-rich chocolate did not significantly reduce mean blood pressure below 140 mmHg systolic or 80 mmHg diastolic.
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