March 12, 2009

Hypertension linked to breast cancer death

High blood pressure is a predictor of mortality among breast cancer patients, especially African-Americans, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author epidemiologist Dejana Braithwaite, University of California, San Francisco, said that high blood pressure accounts for approximately 30 percent of the survival disparity between African-American and white breast cancer patients.

White women are more likely to get breast cancer but African-American women are more likely to die from it, Braithwaite said in a statement. We were trying to shed light on the factors that contribute to disparities in survival between the two groups.

The study involved 416 African-American and 838 white women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1973-86 and tracked them through 1999. All of the women in the study were patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that African-American breast cancer patients had a higher overall crude mortality, or death from all causes, than whites during the study period: 39.7 percent versus 33.3 percent respectively over a mean follow-up of nine years.