Ethnic background plays an important, but as yet not fully defined, role in the development of high blood pressure. Ethnicity is included in almost all lists of high blood pressure risk factors, and there are likely some underlying genetic components that have yet to be clearly identified. Still, the exact risk contributed by ethnicity is not totally agreed upon by major researchers, with some claiming a high level of risk and some claiming that ethnicity is a factor because it is linked to other variables that can affect outcome.
The question of possible genetic influence of different ethnic groups on developing high blood pressure is not simply an academic curiosity. Rather, these differences, if present, hold the promise for individualized treatment targeted to specific factors that may differ between ethnic groups. Such approaches could vastly alter the outcomes of high blood pressure treatment, and could improve the lives of millions of people. It is in this spirit that research continues on this topic.