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Blood pressure control in diabetes: temporal progress yet persistent racial disparities: national results from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.

Diabetes Care. 2010 Apr;33(4):798-803 Cummings DM, Doherty L, Howard G, Howard VJ, Safford MM, Prince V, Kissela B, Lackland DT. Department of Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Despite widespread dissemination of target values, achieving a blood pressure of <130/80 mmHg is challenging for many individuals with diabetes. The purpose of the present study was to examine temporal trends in blood pressure control in hypertensive individuals with diabetes as well as the potential for race, sex, and geographic disparities.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed baseline data from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, a national, population-based, longitudinal cohort study of 30,228 adults (58% European American and 42% African American), examining the causes of excess stroke mortality in the southeastern U.S. We calculated mean blood pressure and blood pressure control rates (proportion with blood pressure <130/80 mmHg) for 5,217 hypertensive diabetic participants by year of enrollment (2003-2007) using multivariable logistic regression models.

RESULTS: Only 43 and 30% of European American and African American diabetic hypertensive participants, respectively, demonstrated a target blood pressure of <130/80 mmHg (P < 0.001). However, a temporal trend of improved control was evident; the odds of having a blood pressure <130/80 mmHg among diabetic hypertensive participants of both races enrolled in 2007 (as compared with those enrolled in 2003) were approximately 50% greater (P < 0.001) in multivariate models.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest temporal improvements in blood pressure control in diabetes that may reflect broad dissemination of tighter blood pressure control targets and improving medication access. However, control rates remain low, and significant racial disparities persist among African Americans that may contribute to an increased risk for premature cardiovascular disease.

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