‘Silent killer’ of high blood pressure stalks Blacks | Commentary

The Price of Ignoring High Blood Pressure

After discovering that my blood pressure has risen — with me knowing it — to levels that put me at great risk for a stroke, I am happy to report that I have gotten my own high blood pressure down to a steady 127/76.

If you’re African American, there’s a good chance that you, a relative or an African-American friend has the disease, which is also known as hypertension or HBP. Not only is HBP more severe in Blacks than whites, but it also develops earlier in life. It is believed that this is due higher overall rates of obesity and diabetes in African Americans, placing them at greater risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.

Researchers have also found that there may be a gene that makes African Americans much more salt sensitive. This gene is thought to increase the risk of developing HBP. In people who have this gene, as little as one extra gram (half a teaspoon) of salt could raise blood pressure as much as 5 points!

Do you ever wonder if all the talk about high blood pressure is really relevant? The unequivocal answer: Yes!

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