African Americans, Hypertension and the Renin Angiotensin System


African Americans have exceptionally high rates of hypertension and hypertension related complications. It is commonly reported that the blood pressure lowering efficacy of renin angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors is attenuated in African Americans due to a greater likelihood of having a low renin profile. Therefore these agents are often not recommended as initial therapy in African Americans with hypertension. However, the high prevalence of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease makes treatment with RAS inhibitors more compelling. Despite lower circulating renin levels and a less significant fall in blood pressure in response to RAS inhibitors in African Americans, numerous clinical trials support the efficacy of RAS inhibitors to improve clinical outcomes in this population, especially in those with hypertension and risk factors for cardiovascular and related diseases. Here, we discuss the rationale of RAS blockade as part of a comprehensive approach to attenuate the high rates of premature morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension among African Americans.

Authors: Sandra F Williams, Susanne B Nicholas, Nosratola D Vaziri, Keith C Norris
Keywords: African American, ethnicity
DOI Number: 10.4330/wjc.v6.i9.878      Publication Year: 2014

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