Underutilization of treatment for black adults with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension: JHS and the REGARDS study

Academic Article


  • Resistant hypertension, defined as blood pressure levels above goal while taking ≥3 classes of antihypertensive medication or ≥4 classes regardless of blood pressure level, is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. The 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Resistant Hypertension recommends healthy lifestyle habits and thiazide-like diuretics and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for adults with resistant hypertension. The term apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) is used when pseudoresistance cannot be excluded. We estimated the use of healthy lifestyle factors and recommended antihypertensive medication classes among US Black adults with aTRH. Data were pooled for Black participants in the JHS (Jackson Heart Study) in 2009 to 2013 (n=2496) and the REGARDS study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) in 2013 to 2016 (n=3786). Outcomes included lifestyle factors (not smoking, not consuming alcohol, ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or ≥150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, and body mass index <25 kg/m2) and recommended antihypertensive medications (thiazide-like diuretics and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists). Overall, 28.3% of participants who reported taking antihypertensive medication had aTRH. Among participants with aTRH, 14.5% and 1.2% had ideal levels of 3 and 4 of the lifestyle factors, respectively. Also, 5.9% of participants with aTRH reported taking a thiazide-like diuretic, and 9.8% reported taking a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist. In conclusion, evidence-based lifestyle factors and recommended pharmacological treatment are underutilized in Black adults with aTRH. Increased use of lifestyle recommendations and antihypertensive medication classes specifically recommended for aTRH may improve blood pressure control and reduce cardiovascular disease-related morbidity and mortality among US Black adults. Graphic Abstract A graphic abstract is available for this article.
  • Published In

  • Hypertension  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Langford AT; Akinyelure OP; Moore TL; Howard G; Min YI; Hillegass WB; Bress AP; Tajeu GS; Butler M; Jaeger BC
  • Start Page

  • 1600
  • End Page

  • 1607