Psychosocial correlates of apparent treatment-resistant hypertension in the Jackson Heart Study

  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 07 June 2017


Apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. aTRH is common and disproportionately affects African Americans. The objective of this study is to explore psychosocial correlates of aTRH in a population-based cohort of African Americans with hypertension. The sample included 1392 participants in the Jackson Heart Study with treated hypertension who reported being adherent to their antihypertensive medications. aTRH was defined as uncontrolled clinic BP (140/90 mm Hg) with 3 classes of antihypertensive medication or treatment with 4 classes of antihypertensive medication, including a diuretic. Self-reported medication adherence was defined as taking all prescribed antihypertensive medication in the 24 h before the study visit. The association of psychosocial factors (chronic stress, depressive symptoms, perceived social support and social network) with aTRH was evaluated using Poisson regression with progressive adjustment for demographic, clinical and behavioural factors. The prevalence of aTRH was 15.1% (n=210). Participants with aTRH had lower social network scores (that is, fewer sources of regular social contact) compared with participants without aTRH (P<0.01). No other psychosocial factors differed between groups. Social network was also the only psychosocial factor that was associated with aTRH prevalence in regression analyses. In age-, sex-adjusted and fully adjusted models, one additional unique source of social contact was associated with a 19% (PR=0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68–0.94, P=0.001) and a 13% (PR=0.87; 95% CI 0.74–1.0, P=0.041) lower prevalence of aTRH, respectively. Social network was independently associated with aTRH and warrants further investigation as a potentially modifiable determinant of aTRH in African Americans.

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Change history

  • 07 June 2017

    This article has been corrected since Advance Online Publication and a corrigendum is also printed in this issue.


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We thank the participants and data collection staff of the Jackson Heart Study. The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institutes of Health; or the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Jackson Heart Study is supported by contracts HHSN268201300046C, HHSN268201300047C, HHSN268201300048C, HHSN268201300049C, HHSN268201300050C from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

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Correspondence to A J Shallcross.

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Shallcross, A., Butler, M., Tanner, R. et al. Psychosocial correlates of apparent treatment-resistant hypertension in the Jackson Heart Study. J Hum Hypertens 31, 474–478 (2017).

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