Prehypertension-Hypertension Conversion Rate Tied to Race

Median conversion time to hypertension was 365 days earlier in blacks compared to whites

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Conversion from prehypertension to hypertension is more accelerated in blacks than in whites, according to a study published online Sept. 12 in Hypertension.

Anbeswa Selassie, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues investigated whether progression from prehypertension is accelerated in blacks compared to whites. The study included 5,733 black and 13,132 white nonhypertensive individuals between the ages of 18 and 85 years. The number of days from the start of the study until the diagnosis of hypertension determined conversion time within a maximum observation of 2,550 days. This was analyzed as a function of race using Cox-regression modeling while controlling for age, gender, baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressures (BP), body mass index, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease.

The investigators found that, after adjusting for covariables, the median conversion time, when 50 percent of individuals were diagnosed with hypertension, was significantly (365 days) earlier for blacks than for whites (626 versus 991 days). The strongest predictors of hypertension were baseline systolic BP of 130 to 139 mm Hg (hazard ratio [HR] 1.77) and 120 to 129 mm Hg (HR 1.52), age 75 years or older (HR 1.40), and age 55 to 74 years (HR 1.29). Additional significant predictors were age 35 to 54 years, diastolic BP of 80 to 89 mm Hg, overweight and obesity, and diabetes mellitus.

"Conversion from prehypertension to hypertension is accelerated in blacks, which suggests that effective interventions in prehypertension could reduce racial disparities in prevalent hypertension," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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