Sex-specific responses to mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism in hypertensive African American males and females

John S. Clemmer, Jessica L. Faulkner, Alex J. Mullen, Kenneth R. Butler, Robert L. Hester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: African Americans (AA) develop hypertension (HTN) at an earlier age, have a greater frequency and severity of HTN, and greater prevalence of uncontrolled HTN as compared to the white population. Mineralocorticoid antagonists have been shown to be very effective in treating uncontrolled HTN in both AA and white patients, but sex-specific responses are unclear. Methods: We evaluated the sex-specific impact of mineralocorticoid antagonism in an AA population. An AA cohort (n = 1483) from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy study was stratified based on sex and whether they were taking spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid antagonist, in their antihypertensive regimen. Results: As compared to AA women not prescribed a mineralocorticoid antagonist, AA women taking spironolactone (n = 9) had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure despite having a similar number of antihypertensive medications. The proportion of AA women with uncontrolled HTN was significantly less for patients taking spironolactone than for patients not prescribed spironolactone. Interestingly, none of these associations were found in the AA males or in white females. Conclusions: Our data suggests that spironolactone is particularly effective in reducing blood pressure and controlling HTN in AA women. Further research into the impact of this therapy in this underserved and understudied minority is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 9 2019


  • African American
  • Hypertension
  • Mineralocorticoid antagonist
  • Sex-specific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Endocrinology


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