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Study: Black hypertension patients not getting enough out of doctor visits

Posted September 16, 2009

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— Uncontrolled hypertension increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. Doctors can advise patients about how diet, exercise or even medication can help bring it under control.

A researcher at the University of North Carolina, however, has found that black patients with hypertension aren't getting enough out of their doctor visits.

Debbie Lee, 56, suffers from high blood pressure. Study examines race, hypertension

Dr. Crystal Cene led a hypertension study analyzing audio recordings of 226 hypertension patients in their visits with 39 different doctors to see if there were racial differences in communication. She found that black patients had poorer communication with their doctors compared to white patients.

“One of the things is they need to talk more, really need to put their agendas out there and be willing to communicate more,” Cene said.

Cene said the communication needs to improve on both ends, with doctors developing a friendly relationship and asking specific questions. The information gained will help a doctor know if he or she needs to adjust a patient's medication or advise him or her of lifestyle changes.

Cene said some of the communication problems might be a cultural thing, with some patients having a long-standing mistrust of the medical establishment.

In general, black patients tended to talk less causing their doctor visits to be shorter than for white patients.

10 Comments

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  • bronzegoddess40 Sep 17, 2009

    Thank you, Realist. This study is just a waste of money when it's already a proven fact that blacks do not seek out medical treatment as much as other races.

    Usually because of lack of insurance, hence the need for health care reform and studies that are done all the time for all races and are not a waste. Just think if other studies had not been conducted, it is a good chance that you and others would not be here. So now are studies considered wasteful?

  • bronzegoddess40 Sep 17, 2009

    This has been going on for years. But the best thing is for black folks to research things, speak and talk to your doctor, ask questions and make the most of the visits. If they try to mistreat you after this, then get another doctor. Don't pay for non quality service.

  • concerncitizen Sep 17, 2009

    (continued)
    With our higher than we can afford premiums!

  • UNC81 Sep 17, 2009

    Uh oh, now medicine is racist!

  • Realist Sep 17, 2009

    almost forgot, seeminglyopposed, your commments about the elderly woman and non-trust issues are exactly whats wrong with most people today. instead of you realizing that the elderly woman is at fault you instantly point blame to someone else, the doctor. if everyone ( me included ) would work on fixing their own issues instead of fixing everyone elses (insert any international gov't affair here) then the US would be a much different place.

  • Realist Sep 17, 2009

    The whole point, seeminglyopposed, is that this article/study is a waste of money. yeah i was being funny but at the same time, very serious about a waste of study.

  • Seeminglyopposed Sep 17, 2009

    Every study benefits a person not of "so called color"--not a racist remark. Since realist is trying to be funny. This is so easy for some to comment upon, but it isn't funny when you have an elderly black patient that is your parent that is suffering from high blood pressure and are set in their ways of non-trusting and the doctor is not very helpful in trying to communicate either, but have no problem in charging them for these short visits and their blood pressure is still unreal. The doctors are held to a higher code of ethics, that is what they are paid to do! And if the ratio was higher in the non colored community, this article would not be a problem.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 17, 2009

    If you are the patient, and you do not question your doctor, then the problem is yours to fix regardless of your race.

  • killerbeautyqueen Sep 17, 2009

    Thank you, Realist. This study is just a waste of money when it's already a proven fact that blacks do not seek out medical treatment as much as other races.

  • Realist Sep 17, 2009

    i'm so glad companies spend money on these types of studies. What valuable information it has given us. i think i am going to work on getting a study funded on how many "studies, grants, programs, associations, groups, marches" etc etc, that benefit every race in the world but not a white person.