(HealthDay News) — Racial and ethnic inequities in treatment intensification may be associated with more than 20% of observed racial or ethnic disparities in blood pressure (BP) control, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in JAMA Cardiology.

Valy Fontil, M.D., from University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated to what extent variation in healthcare processes (e.g., treatment intensification, scheduled follow-up interval and missed visits) explains racial disparities in BP control. The analysis included 16,114 adults (ages 20 years and older) with hypertension and elevated BP seen for at least one clinic visit at one of 11 safety-net clinics between Jan. 1, 2015, and Nov. 15, 2017.

The researchers found that Black patients had lower treatment intensification scores and missed more visits compared with patients from all other races and ethnicities, whereas Asian patients had higher treatment intensification scores and fewer missed visits. Compared with other races and ethnicities, Black patients were less likely (odds ratio, 0.82) and Asian patients were more likely (odds ratio, 1.13) to achieve BP control. Treatment intensification accounted for 21% of the total difference in BP control among Black patients, whereas missed visits accounted for 14%. For Asian patients, treatment intensification accounted for 26% of the difference in BP control, and missed appointments accounted for 13%.

“Ensuring more equitable provision of treatment intensification could be a beneficial healthcare strategy to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in BP control,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)