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The Impact of Obesity on Hypertension Management in African Americans


Blood pressure is strongly related to body weight, and control of obesity is a critical component of hypertension prevention and control. Data from multicenter studies such as the Trials of Hypertension Prevention, the Trials of Antihypertensive Interventions and Management, and the Trial of Nonpharmacologic Interventions in the Elderly help to set aside previous questions about whether the association of obesity with hypertension applies to African Americans. Given the high prevalence of overweight among African Americans, especially women, the issue is not whether weight reduction should be a component of hypertension prevention and treatment but how to design and implement programs that will help overweight African American men and women achieve permanent weight loss. Modest weight losses can not only prevent or reverse blood pressure elevations but also have a favorable impact on obesity-related cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

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