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Hypertension Is Different in Blacks

Frank A. Finnerty Jr., MD
JAMA. 1971;216(10):1634-1635. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180360080012.
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Hypertension is different in black people. It develops earlier in life, is frequently more severe, and results in a higher mortality at a younger age, more commonly from strokes than from coronary artery disease. Experience over the past 20 years with an inner city population readily attests to the high incidence of hypertension in blacks. Studies conducted in the Toxemia Clinic at D. C. General Hospital presented evidence that 70% of the patients originally diagnosed as toxemia of pregnancy by the obstetricians actually had hypertensive vascular disease as shown by a history of an elevated arterial pressure prior to pregnancy, and by arteriovenous nicking seen on ophthalmoscopic examination.1-3

Studies during the past year conducted in the Birth Control Clinic at this hospital have reemphasized the high incidence of hypertension in young black women.4 Forty-eight percent of a random sample of black patients attending the Birth Control Clinic were


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