Purpose of review
Hypertension in non-Hispanic black (NHB) adults in the United States has an earlier onset, higher prevalence, and increased severity compared with other racial/ethnic populations. Uncontrolled hypertension is responsible for the increased burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality and decreased longevity in NHB adults. Unfortunately, eliminating the persistent hypertension-associated disparities and the white/black mortality gap, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been challenging. Overcoming the social determinants of health (SDOH), implementing therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC), and using intensive guideline-directed medical therapy are required. Moreover, novel approaches, including community-based interventions and self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring, may mitigate U.S. disparities in hypertension.
In this review, we discuss recent data regarding the U.S. NHB adult disparate hypertension control and CVD morbidity and mortality. We note current approaches to address disparities, such as TLC, evidence-based pharmacotherapy, community-based interventions and SMBP. Finally, we explore future research and initiatives to seek hypertension-related health equity.
In the final analysis, longstanding, unacceptable hypertension and CVD morbidity and mortality in U.S. NHB adults must be addressed. Appropriate TLC and evidence-based pharmacotherapy benefit all populations, especially NHB adults. Ultimately, novel community-based interventions and SMBP may help overcome the SDOH that cause hypertension disparities.