|MadSci Network: Medicine|
The most informative research I found states that "hypertension in rural West Africa is lower than any other place in the world except for some parts of the Amazon basin and the South Pacific" www(.sciam.com/1999/0299issue/0299cooper.html) and this has been common knowledge within the scientific community for some time. Some other links are http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/heart/hbp/salt_sum.htm and http://www.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/prevhbp/index.htm 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 stress 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 prone 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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