Why is hypertension in African-Americans so common?
Why is high blood pressure in African-Americans so common?
To date, researchers do not have a definitive answer to this question, but believe that high blood pressure in African-Americans may be triggered by the following factors:
Genetic factors. High rates of high blood pressure in African-Americans may be due to the genetic make-up of people of African descent, however, this may not always be the case. Researchers have uncovered some facts: In Africa, black people who maintain traditional lifestyles have few problems with high blood pressure. In the U.S, black people are known to respond differently to high blood pressure drugs than do other groups of people. Black people in the U.S. also seem to be more sensitive to salt.
Environmental factors. Some scientists believe that high blood pressure in African-Americans is due to factors unique to the experience of black people in the U.S. Black people worldwide have rates of high blood pressure that are similar to white people. In the U.S., however, the difference is dramatic: 41% of black people have high blood pressure, as compared to 27% of whites. In addition, black people in the U.S are more likely to be overweight than blacks in other countries. Some experts think that social and economic factors, including discrimination and economic inequality, are largely responsible for this difference.