Effects of genetic counseling for hypertension on changes in lifestyle behaviors among African-American women.

Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, Chun Yi Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic counseling research has been used for diseases such as breast and other cancers, but genetic counseling for hypertension has been understudied. African-American women have the highest prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease of any group in the United States. Because hypertension and related cardiovascular sequela have a profound impact on the health and well being of African-American women, providing genetic counseling for hypertension is important in order to determine risk and to provide early interventions. The purpose of this study is to examine lifestyle changes among urban African-American women following genetic counseling for hypertension as compared to baseline. Specific lifestyle factors include the impact of changes in physical activity, of sodium intake, and of body mass index on systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure. Results of this study indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings and pulse pressure readings decreased six months after genetic counseling, although the findings were not statistically significant. Body mass index remained relatively unchanged after genetic counseling, but minutes of increased physical activity was reported, although this was not significant. However, a statistically significant decrease in sodium intake (p = .033) was noted from baseline to 6-month follow-up after genetic counseling. With the exception of sodium, changes in lifestyle behaviors, blood pressure, and pulse pressure readings did not differ significantly from baseline. However, changes in lifestyle behaviors in a positive direction are important and worth noting. Further studies on genetic counseling for hypertension with longer follow-up periods are needed to determine the effectiveness of genetic counseling on changes in lifestyle behaviors and blood pressure readings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of National Black Nurses' Association : JNBNA
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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