(HealthDay News) – Blacks are more likely to have hypertension and to have uncontrolled and unreported hypertension than whites, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Uchechukwu K.A. Sampson, MB, BS, MPH, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and colleagues examined the prevalence of factors associated with self-reported and ascertained hypertension among 69,211 participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study.

The researchers found that the prevalence of self-reported hypertension was 57%. In all race-sex groups, body mass index correlated with hypertension, with an odds ratio [OR] of 4.03 for morbidly obese participants. The likelihood of self-reported hypertension was significantly increased for blacks versus whites (OR, 1.84), and the correlation was more pronounced among women (OR, 2.08) than men (OR, 1.47). Similar findings were observed for ascertained hypertension. Of those reporting antihypertensive agent use, 94% were using a least one of the major classes, 44% were on at least two classes, and 29% were on a diuretic. Compared with whites, blacks had significantly increased odds of uncontrolled self-reported or ascertained hypertension (OR, 2.13) and unreported hypertension (OR, 1.99).

“Despite socioeconomic status similarities, we observed suboptimal use of antihypertensives in this cohort, and racial differences in the prevalence of uncontrolled and unreported hypertension, which merit further investigation,” the authors write.

One author disclosed receipt of a grant from PepsiCo to fund data analysis.

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