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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
19-Jun-2013

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Contact: Jeffrey Norris
jeff.norris@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
@ucsf

High blood pressure among blacks and young adults is focus of $11 million stroke prevention project

IMAGE: UCSF's Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., is director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital.

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A new $11 million grant to Kaiser Permanente Northern California and UC San Francisco will support a multifaceted research program aimed at lowering stroke risk among black populations and younger stroke victims by targeting high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

"Hypertension is much more common in blacks than in whites and is less likely to be controlled. Despite dramatic improvements in blood pressure control among Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California over the past decade, there is currently a 5 percent disparity between our black and white members," said Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH, director of research clinics with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

Sidney is director of the new Stroke Prevention/Intervention Research Program, awarded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and principal investigator for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. "The goal of the first study in this research program is to decrease the disparity by 4 percent over one year," Sidney said.

"Hypertension is on the rise in the United States, despite the fact that we know what causes it, and we know how to treat it," said UCSF's Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital. Bibbins-Domingo is principal investigator of the research program for UCSF and lead investigator for two of the program's four main components.

In the United States, blacks are twice as likely as whites to experience a first stroke; blacks are also more likely to die as a result of a stroke.

Younger adults are also a major focus of the new grant. Recent studies suggest that strokes among younger adults are becoming more common, due to an increase in risk factors such as high blood pressure.

Adolescents increasingly are affected by high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. "We want to discover how these risk factors increase future stroke risk in different populations," Bibbins-Domingo said.

The new stroke research program includes the following components:

The grant to Kaiser Permanente and UCSF to reduce hypertension is one of four awarded nationwide to target stroke, to be funded with up to $40 million over five years.

"These research efforts will give us the traction we need to control the greatest modifiable stroke risk factor," said Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, deputy director of NINDS, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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About UCSF

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For more information, visit http://www.ucsf.edu.

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR's 550-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit http://www.dor.kaiser.org.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.



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