Hypertension Among African Americans

Hypertension among African Americans
            Hypertension strikes African Americans harder than non-minority populations and is a  preliminary distress signal leading to debilitating events such as kidney failure and strokes. The threshold for high blood pressure is a reading of 140/90. The first number refers to the pressure at the moment when the pump chambers of the heart are squeezing. The second number refers to the moment when those chambers are refilling with blood. According to statistics gathered by the Center for Disease Control from 1999 - 2002, about 43% of black women and 41% of black men had high blood pressure (Center for Disease Control, 2007).
The seriously high rate of hypertension among African - Americans contributes to the high prevalence of stroke and kidney disease within this population. Without early detection, a black person is nearly twice as likely to have a stroke as a non minority. Blacks often do not get treatment until their blood pressure has been high for so long that vital organs have been damaged. These pressure readings are among the highest rates for any ethnic group in the world. Black men and women have higher rates of diabetes than whites, but lower rates of high cholesterol. High blood pressure is one of the main culprits in the extraordinarily high stroke rate in blacks (Rumbach, 2007).
High blood pressure facts:
Women:All womenWhiteAfrican AmericanMexican American(Center for Disease Control, 2005) |  30.6%28.5%43.5%27.9% | Men:All menWhiteAfrican AmericanMexican American |  28.8%27.6%40.6%26.8% |
            Why are blacks more susceptible to high blood pressure? Originally thought as genetic, new studies from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine show that data collected internationally indicate that hypertension may have more to do with lifestyle than genetics. When comparing blood pressure readings of blacks among Nigeria, Jamaica, the United States, Canada, and Europe  a wide variation is found....