Hypertensive complications in blacks
- Brent M Egan, MD
Brent M Egan, MD
- Professor of Medicine
- University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville
- Chief Science Officer, Care Coordination Institute
- Section Editors
- George L Bakris, MD
George L Bakris, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Nephrology
- Section Editor — Hypertension
- Professor of Medicine
- The University of Chicago
- Norman M Kaplan, MD
Norman M Kaplan, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Nephrology
- Section Editor — Hypertension
- Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Hypertension in blacks as compared with whites tends to be more common, to present earlier in life, and to be more severe (figure 1) . In addition, progression from prehypertension to hypertension is accelerated in blacks . The reasons for these observations are incompletely understood, as the relative importance of environmental and genetic factors has not been established [3,4]. The treatment of hypertension is discussed separately. (See "Treatment of hypertension in blacks".)
Important risk factors for hypertension among blacks include:
●Lower socioeconomic status
●Ingestion of a high-sodium/low-potassium diet
Another possible mechanism, which is also related to lower socioeconomic class, is poor maternal nutrition leading to low birth weight in the infant. Low birth weight has been associated with an increased risk of hypertension in adulthood, perhaps due in part to impaired renal growth . An associated reduction in renal development with fewer functioning nephrons may contribute to the predisposition to the development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) , including ESRD occurring before the age of 50 years, in African Americans . (See "Possible role of low birth weight in the pathogenesis of primary (essential) hypertension".)To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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