Question: I have heard that some cardiac pills are less effective in African-Americans. Is this true and why?
Answer: Well, first of all, there's a lot of individual variability in how people respond to different medications. There are some medications that tend to be generally less effective in some groups than others. And African Americans as a group tend to have lower response rates to drugs that inhibit the renin angiotension system or some drugs that work on the part of body that controls blood flow to blood vessels and to the kidney.
So there are some drugs that you may have less chance of having a complete response to, but selection of the drugs should be done in collaboration with your own health professional. And so don't be surprised if your doctor or your nurse practitioner puts you on a drug that you may have read a report in the newspaper, it may be less effective in African-Americans. It's not that they're not effective, it's that simply there's a tendency to have less full response in some racial groups than others.
So the key thing is pay attention to your blood pressure, pay attention to good visits with your own health professional, and a good healthy dialogue about the best drugs for you.