BP Basics

Hypertension in African Americans

High blood pressure, when it becomes chronic is known as hypertension. It is called the silent killer as it kills slowly without any apparent symptoms, whatsoever. Blood pressure normally  increases with age and nearly all Americans have to face it at one point of time or the other. Hypertension severely affects the lives of 25% of the American people.

Hypertension leads to other kinds of diseases such as stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. However, amongst Americans, the African American population is more susceptible to hypertension. This group is also more likely to die on account of the condition than other Americans. 

Nearly, 35% of African Americans suffer from hypertension which is more than the average percentage of Americans which suffers from the disease. African Americans are likely to suffer from hypertension at an age earlier than other Americans and have a  whooping 80% more chance of dying from stroke. They are also more prone to undergo diseases related to hypertension such as heart diseases and kidney failure.    

The question that comes to mind is why is it that African Americans are more prone to suffer from hypertension than the white population or other groups? The answer can be ascribed to some loosely described aspect of genetic composition. However unsatisfactory the explanation may be, it is true that African Americans are inherently disposed to high blood pressure. The implication of racial or genetic characteristics is unfortunately overemphasized here. However, in spite of the unintentional racial connection or bias, it is true that African Americans are more susceptible.
Hypertension and its resultant complications can prove fatal. As such, the first step towards treating hypertension at a macro level is to treat the condition in high risk populations such as African Americans. This will go a long way in reducing the incidence of the disease in the overall population.
Thus, it can be safely deduced that there exists a relationship between hypertension and African Americans. Contrary to popular misperception, hypertension in the Afro-American population can not only be controlled, but also be cured. The only thing that is required is an aggressive and enthusiastic approach.