Lack of Awareness of Hypertension Disease Risk at different Ethnic Groups

Hypertension is a worldwide problem, and there is some especially prevalence at different groups. Black and Hispanic adults are diagnosed with hypertension at a significantly younger age than are white adults, and they also are more likely than Whites to be unaware of undiagnosed high blood pressure, based on national survey data collected from 2011 to 2020.

Xiaoning Huang, PhD, and associates wrote in JAMA Cardiology, also noting that “lower hypertension awareness among racial and ethnic minoritized groups suggests potential for underestimating differences in age at onset.

Overall mean age at diagnosis was 46 years for the overall study sample of 9,627 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys over the 10 years covered in the analysis. Black adults, with a median age of 42 years, and Hispanic adults (median, 43 years) were significantly younger at diagnosis than White adults, who had a median age of 47 years, the investigators reported.

Earlier age at hypertension onset may mean greater cumulative exposure to high blood pressure across the life course, which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and may contribute to racial disparities in hypertension-related outcomes.

In this study the researchers found that black/Hispanic adults were significantly more likely than White/Asian adults to be diagnosed at or before 30 years of age, and that difference continued to at least age 50 years.

Why is this important?

There was a somewhat different trend among those in the study population who reported BP at or above 140/90 mm Hg but did not report a hypertension diagnosis.

Overall, 18% of those who did not report a hypertension diagnosis had a BP of 140/90 mm Hg or higher and 38% had a BP of 130/80 mm Hg or more. Broken down by race and ethnicity, 16% and 36% of Whites reporting no hypertension had BPs of 140/90 and 130/80 mm Hg, respectively; those proportions were 21% and 42% for Hispanics, 24% and 44% for Asians, and 28% and 51% for Blacks, with all of the differences between Whites and the others significant.

These findings show us that many people don’t give importance to the blood pressure measurements, though they are in a high risk group, so this can delay the diagnosis of the Hypertension disease and with that the time the people are not on medical treatment get longer, carrying a medication onset too late. 

It is important to raise awareness of the risk that the specific group has, and take action to prevent measures.  


Xiaoning Huang, PhD; Kristen Lee, MD; Michael C. Wang. (August 3 2022). Age at Diagnosis of Hypertension by Race and Ethnicity in the US From 2011 to 2020. JAMA. Retrieved from: 


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