-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Black people with high
blood pressure are twice as likely to suffer sudden cardiac death
than whites or other racial groups who suffer hypertension,
according to a new study.
Researchers found this was true regardless of blacks' other risk
factors, such as age, gender, family history, weight, diabetes or
pre-existing heart disease.
Researchers examined 533 black and 8,660 non-black patients with
high blood pressure and followed them for five years. Sudden
cardiac death occurred in 178 patients, including 17 blacks and 161
non-blacks. After adjusting for risk factors such as age, sex, body
mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight),
diabetes and history of heart disease, the study revealed black
patients had a two-fold greater risk of sudden cardiac death.
In sudden cardiac death, the heart unexpectedly stops beating,
causing blood flow to the brain and organs to stop. If blood flow
isn't restored through CPR or defibrillation, death occurs within
The study appears in the April issue of
"The truly unique outcome of our study is the indication that black patients may be at a higher risk of [sudden cardiac death], but not because of other more well-known risk factors," study lead author Dr. Peter Okin, a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a journal news release.
While the study found an association between sudden cardiac
death and high blood pressure, it did not prove a cause-and-effect
More research is needed to explore the genetic, structural and
functional differences involved in the higher incidence of sudden
cardiac death in black people with high blood pressure, the
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides more
sudden cardiac arrest.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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