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Editor's Correspondence
July 28, 2003

Questioning Race-Based Hypertension Management

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(14):1744-1745. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.14.1744

Appropriately and helpfully, the recent consensus statement "Management of High Blood Pressure in African Americans"1 indicates that hypertension is not more difficult to manage in this population compared with other groups, and that African Americans should receive β-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in the setting of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In other words, race should not influence treatment. On the other hand, because of African Americans' disproportionate burden of hypertensive illness, the Hypertension in African Americans Working Group (HAAWG) suggests that clinicians be extra vigilant about achieving blood pressure targets in this population. Does this therefore mean it is legitimate to be more relaxed about treating comparable levels of hypertension in other patient groups? The HAAWG does not make this assertion, of course, yet their underlying message is difficult to decipher.

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