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

Nov 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: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Anticipating the future of doping in sport

Mar 21, 2014

Doping in sport is nothing new. Ancient Greek athletes used stimulating potions to fortify themselves. Strychnine, caffeine, cocaine, and alcohol were regularly used by cyclists in the 19th century. Marathon ...

Pets and anesthesia

Mar 21, 2014

Have you been avoiding getting your pet regular dental care? You're not alone. Most pet owners understand that in animals—just as in people—good oral health is conducive to overall well-being, says Gillian Fraser, V00, ...

Medicine goes mobile with smartphone apps, devices

Feb 19, 2014

Thanks to smartphones, email, video games and photo sharing are available at the touch of a finger. But attach a special case and that same phone can produce an electrocardiogram (EKG) from the electrical ...

New nanoparticle that only attacks cervical cancer cells

Mar 17, 2014

One of the most promising technologies for the treatment of various cancers is nanotechnology, creating drugs that directly attack the cancer cells without damaging other tissues' development. The Laboratory ...

Lifesaving sensor for full bladders

Mar 10, 2014

A small pressure sensor can make the difference between life and death. The first tests on humans will be carried out in April on patients with spinal injuries at Sunnaas Hospital.

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

22 hours ago

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...