Racial disparities in hypertension control account for nearly 8,000 preventable deaths annually among African-Americans, making increased blood pressure control among African-Americans a “compelling goal,” reported Lisa M. Lewis, PhD, RN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
African-Americans commonly develop hypertension at a younger age, are less likely to have their blood pressure under control, and disproportionately suffer strokes and fatality when compared with their Caucasian counterparts. Statistics include a 30 percent greater rate of non-fatal stroke, an 80 percent greater rate of fatal stroke, and a staggering 420 percent greater rate of end-stage kidney disease for African-Americans.
But research estimates show that only 51 percent of all patients with hypertension adhere to their medications and that adherence rates are even lower for African-American patients.
Dr. Lewis identified self-efficacy, depression, and patient-provider communication among the factors in medication nonadherence. She called for further study, but advised that these factors are important for healthcare providers to consider when treating hypertensive African-American patients.
“Increasing blood pressure control requires a comprehensive approach,” wrote Dr. Lewis. “Given that self-efficacy and patient-provider communication are modifiable factors, they can be the focus of interventions to increase medication adherence. [Clinicians also] may want to screen their hypertensive patients for depression and treat if necessary.”
Source University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing