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The silent killer disparities: race, gender and residence

Jessica Barley, Charles Ellis

Abstract


Global estimates indicate that 26.4% of the worldwide adult population had hypertension (HTN) or the “silent killer” in 2000 and this number is predicted to increase to approximately 60% in 2025 to a total of 1.56 billion [1]. In the United States (US) alone, HTN occurs in 1 of 3 adults and more than 76 million Americans over the age of 20 have HTN [2]. Unfortunately, it has been established that 8% of the US population has undiagnosed HTN; a major risk factor for other chronic diseases such heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease [3]. The financial burden associated with HTN is staggering, with costs approaching $77 billion dollars in the US in 2010, which included healthcare services, medications and missed days of work [4]. Thus, the direct and indirect health-related and financial burden is substantial. This Essay reviews the role of race, gender and residence in the creation of healthcare disparities focusing on the specific example of hypertension as a contribution to the debate on how person-centered care approaches can assist detection and treatment.


Keywords


Gender, healthcare disparities, hypertension, person-centered medicine, race, residence

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/ijpcm.v2i4.292

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