High Blood Pressure in Part Explains Black, White Breast Cancer Mortality Disparity, Study Finds
High blood pressure appears to be a contributing factor in the breast cancer mortality disparity between black and white women, according to a study published March 1 in the International Journal of Cancer, Reuters Health reports. For the study, Dejana Braithwaite of the University of California-San Francisco and colleagues analyzed data of 416 black women and 838 white women with invasive breast cancer who were undergoing treatment in Northern California at Kaiser Permanente between 1973 and 1986 and were followed through 1999.
Black women's mortality rate was 39.7%, compared with 33.3% for white women. More than 28% of black women died of breast cancer, compared with 21.6% of white women. Researchers also found that 43.3% of the black women had high blood pressure, compared with 28.3% of the white women. After controlling for age, race, tumor characteristics and breast cancer treatment, researchers found that high blood pressure was significantly linked to mortality, explaining 30.3% of the racial disparity in mortality, according to the study.
The findings suggest that "hypertension is an important [co-existing condition] to consider in the context of research on racial disparity in breast cancer and our findings warrant its inclusion" in breast cancer predictor measures, according to the study. The study adds that "better management of hypertension has potential to improve patient outcomes, particularly among" black women who have breast cancer (Reuters Health, 3/12).
An abstract of the study is available online.
Please note: The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.