Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Hypertension and Environment

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Hypertension and Environment

Article excerpt

Social environment may play a greater role in the disparity between the numbers of African Americans living with hypertension compared to non-Hispanic whites with the disease.

A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the disparity was substantially reduced when comparing groups of African Americans and non-Hispanic whites living in similar social environments. The results are published in the print edition of Social Science and Medicine.

"Our study found that nearly 31% of the hypertension disparity among African Americans and non-Hispanic whites is attributable to environmental factors," says Roland James Thorpe Jr., lead author of the study and an assistant scientist with the Bloomberg School's Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. "These findings show that ethnic disparities could be linked to a number of factors other than race. Careful review of psychosocial factors, stress, coping strategies, discrimination, and other personality characteristics could play a large role in reducing or eliminating the disparity."

Commonly referred to as the "silent killer," hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease, affecting 65 million adults in the United States. Hypertension is a serious condition that can damage the heart and blood vessels and eventually lead to stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, and vision problems.

Previous studies have found that African Americans tend to have an earlier onset and higher prevalence of the disease than non-Hispanic whites. …

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