Meeting the challenge to improve the treatment of hypertension in blacks.
Hypertension is more prevalent and severe in African descendent populations living outside Africa than in any other population. Given this greater burden of hypertension in blacks, it is increasingly necessary to refine strategies to prevent the disorder as well as improve its treatment and control. This review assesses results from clinical trials on lifestyle and pharmacologic interventions to identify which approaches most effectively prevent adverse hypertension-related outcomes in African descendent populations. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study provided evidence that a carefully controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and reduced in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol (i.e., the DASH diet) reduces blood pressure in blacks and is well accepted. The combination of the DASH diet with reduction in dietary sodium below 100 mmol/d may provide a reduction in blood pressure beyond that reached by the DASH diet alone. Physical exercise and interventions to reduce psychological stress may also reduce blood pressure in blacks. Strong evidence from numerous studies is a compelling argument for continuing to recommend diuretics and beta blockers as first-line antihypertensive therapy for persons of all races. Some new studies also favor angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors as first-line antihypertensive drugs. The African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension provided evidence that an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-based treatment program is more beneficial than calcium channel blockers and beta blockers in reducing the progression of renal failure in blacks with hypertensive nephropathy. Studies in patients with diabetes have also shown evidence that both angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists are more effective than other classes of antihypertensives in reducing adverse renal events. Studies to evaluate the effects of the new antihypertensives in improving outcomes in blacks living outside the United States are needed.
Lopes, AA; James, SA; Port, FK; Ojo, AO; Agodoa, LY; Jamerson, KA
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