Diuretic Use in Black Patients With Uncontrolled Hypertension

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Highly publicized recommendations favor the use of diuretics as a first-line or add-on agent in the management of hypertension, particularly among black patients and patients with resistant hypertension. Failure to follow such guidelines might contribute to high rates of uncontrolled hypertension. This study assessed diuretic prescribing patterns in a sample of black patients with uncontrolled hypertension who were identified from a population of home care recipients.


The study was conducted in an urban home health organization. Participants were black, aged 21 to 80 years, and had a diagnosis of hypertension. Participants with uncontrolled hypertension were identified, and in-home interviewers collected information on prescribed antihypertensive medications.


Of 658 participants, 5.5% were not prescribed any antihypertensives, and only 46% were prescribed a diuretic. Participants who were not taking a diuretic were taking fewer antihypertensive medications (1.7 vs. 2.9; P < 0.0001), had a higher mean diastolic blood pressure (89.2 vs. 85.5; P = 0.0005), and were more likely to have a systolic blood pressure ≥160mm Hg (57.6% vs. 49.0%; P = 0.04). The adjusted mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 5 and 4mm Hg lower, respectively, in patients who were taking a diuretic.


In this sample of black patients with uncontrolled hypertension, despite wide publicizing of the recommendations for use of diuretics, a majority are still not receiving a diuretic. This important issue merits continued attention.

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