Black and south Asian people benefiting less from interventions to reduce blood pressure, says study

November 10, 2008

People from black and south Asian communities in the UK are not benefiting as much as white people from doctors' interventions to reduce their blood pressure, according to a new study published today in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

The study looked at the treatment of over 8,800 people with high blood pressure, visiting 16 family doctor practices across Wandsworth in southwest London in 2005. It was carried out by researchers from Imperial College London and Wandsworth Primary Care Trust.

The study found that in spite of considerable efforts to improve the treatment of high blood pressure in the UK, including new performance-related pay measures for doctors, differences in management between white, black and south Asian patients have persisted.

It is known that black populations in the UK are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than other groups. Managing patients with high blood pressure is important because they are at a high risk of developing a range of health problems including heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

In the new study, black patients previously diagnosed with high blood pressure were significantly less likely to achieve an established target for their blood pressure than white or south Asian patients.

White patients who had high blood pressure and also two or more cardiovascular problems showed significantly improved blood pressure control, but the same improvement was not seen in black or south Asian patients. This finding is of particular concern because these patients are likely to have the greatest health risk, say the researchers.

South Asian patients with poorly controlled high blood pressure were prescribed fewer blood pressure lowering medications than their black or white peers.

Dr Christopher Millett, the lead author of the study from the Division of Epidemiology, Public Health & Primary Care at Imperial College London, said: "It is worrying that differences in blood pressure control between ethnic groups have persisted, particularly in high risk patients, in spite of doctors focusing a lot of effort on this area of patients' health.

"There are a number of potential reasons for the differences in blood pressure control found between white, black and south Asian groups. These include differences in how doctors treat these patients, differences in patient adherence to therapy, and biological differences in the response to antihypertensive therapy. However, further research is required to better understand the reasons for these differences," added Dr Millett.

These findings highlight the importance of ensuring that hypertension is closely monitored and appropriately treated in black and south Asian patients, especially in those with existing cardiovascular conditions, say the researchers.

Source: Imperial College London

Explore further: Medical monitor with eyes and ears

Related Stories

Medical monitor with eyes and ears

February 1, 2016

In intensive care Units (ICU), every second counts. In emergencies, doctors and nurses need to make the right decisions quickly. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a smart "proxemic monitor" which has optimized the processes ...

Physicist develops new diagnostic tools for cancer

January 29, 2016

Cancer diagnosis has come a long way, with noninvasive diagnostic imaging largely replacing exploratory surgery. At UWM, physicist Sarah Patch is working on the next generation of diagnostic tools: thermoacoustic imaging.

Two-for-one bacterial virulence factor revealed

January 15, 2016

We've all seen the headlines. "Man found to be shedding virulent strain of polio"; "Virulent flu strain in Europe hits the economy"; "Most virulent strain of E. coli ever seen contains DNA sequences from plague bacteria."

New technology puts health care in palm of your hand

January 7, 2016

Managing your health care is moving increasingly to the palm of your hand—with new smartphone-enabled technology and wearable sensors that examine, diagnose and even treat many conditions and ailments.

When poverty becomes disease

January 7, 2016

Talmadge King Jr., MD, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, tells the story of an ER physician who had lost a document and was searching frantically for it in the garbage bins behind Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital ...

Shedding light on oxygen, radiation and cancer treatment

December 4, 2015

The underlying principle of radiotherapy is using shaped beams of high energy light or particles to induce cell death in tumour cells, whilst sparing healthy cells. Radiotherapy can be incredibly effective, and is increasingly ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.