“Black women were at anywhere from three- to four-fold increased risk of dying from a hypertension-related cause compared to white women in the United States, and this disparity has persisted for the last 40 years,” he said in a Rutgers release, noting that problems with access to care and many risk factors for hypertensive complications are higher among Black women than white women, which contributes to this disparity.
The study also offers insight for women and their health care providers, said Todd Rosen, associate professor and chief of maternal fetal medicine at Rutgers, who called the results concerning, though not necessarily surprising.
“Women are starting their families when they are older and they may be heavier and in a poorer state of health,” Rosen said. “For a portion of the time period studied, the CDC reported that the percentage of first births to women between 30 and 34 rose by 28 percent, and those for women 35 and older rose 23 percent. To help reduce hypertension-related deaths in these groups, we all need to work to ensure women are in optimal health before they start their families. The four-fold increased risk for mortality in Black compared with white women is especially concerning, and special attention needs to be focused to eliminate this disparity.”
The study was published in the December issue of Hypertension. For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.