MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Why are blacks (African-Americans)at a high risk for Hypertension?

Date: Mon Feb 19 12:41:48 2001
Posted By: Blinda Carnley, Staff, Medical Intensive Care Unit/RN,BSN, Good Shepherd Medical Center
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 979772427.Me

The most informative research I found states that "hypertension in rural 
Africa is lower than any other place in the world except for some parts of
the Amazon basin and the South Pacific"
www( and this has been common
knowledge within the scientific community for some time. Some other links 
are  and also look under
hypertention and high blood pressure.

Americans are part of an industrial society that eats more salt and fat than
is healthy, are more obese and inactive due to our choice of life style.
African - Americans are Americans and are part of this high risk, high 
fast paced life we choose to live. Native Africans work harder and eat
smarter - because they have to, not because they choose to.
Genetics play a role but is proven unsubstantiated when we look at rural
Africa and other places where blacks live outside an industrial society.
Research from the University of Utah and the Colle'ge de France in Paris
found a gene that produces angiotensin (which helps "regulate" fluid 
balance) twice as common in African - Americans as in European - Americans 
but also
report that those having the genetic alleles (235T alleles) are no more 
to develop hypertension than those who do not.
So there we are, back to the laid back life styles and unhealthy eating
habits. We, as Americans - not just African - Americans, must change the way
we live to decrease the chances of our becoming hypertensive and "stroking
out" literally. If your fat, lose weight, if you eat lots of salt - stop it 
don't smoke, play physically harder - work physically harder and keep your
stress pressure down and your blood pressure will stay down on its on.

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