Race Should Not Determine Drug Therapy

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When deciding the appropriate course of treatment for high blood pressure, race should not be a major criterion for selecting a therapy, according to a study reported in Hypertension (June 2004). Using data collected during a clinical trial of 1 type of blood pressure lowering drug?the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor quinapril?the researchers determined the influence of race on blood pressure response.

Although blood pressure lowering with quinapril treatment was, on average, greater for Caucasians than African Americans, the response varied for both groups, and the range overlapped substantially. The researchers noted that age, obesity, and gender accounted for a majority of racial differences in response to the quinapril treatment. "The results of these analyses highlight the potential pitfalls of comparing blood pressure responses between race groups without adequate adjustment for a range of potential confounding variables," concluded the researchers.