Hypertension or High blood pressure is a prevalent cardiovascular disease in the United States and other nations around the world. It is estimated that 1 billion is affected with the disease and about 7.1 million hypertension related mortalities annually. It is a condition in which the long-term force of blood against artery walls is high enough to ultimately cause heart attack, aneurysm, stroke or left ventricular hypertrophy leading to congestive heart failure. Many people with hypertension do not realize they have because the symptoms are subtle and that it generally develops over a long period of time. Most often, vital organs like the kidneys and eyes may damage or other diseases may occur before it is detected; for this reason, it is
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Risk factors for hypertension increases as one ages. Men are likely to be diagnosed around age 45 while most women are likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65. It is a disease that has genetic links and black people have higher prevalence and tend to develop it early compared to their Whites, Hispanics and Native American counterparts. Research suggest that African Americans carry a special gene that makes them more salt sensitive which greatly increases their risk for high blood pressure and predisposes them to heart disease (Winham and Jones, 2011).
The precise prevalence of hypertension in African Americans is said to be related to two clinical readings of 140/90 mmHg or greater, however, they are at the greatest risk because study shows that young black men under the age of 50 are the least likely to go for check up to be diagnosed, treated, and controlled (Moulton, 2009). Other risk factors that are increasing the odds for African Americans include, physical inactivity, obesity, tobacco use, excessive salt (sodium intake) and alcohol intake, less potassium and vitamin D intake, stress, and chronic health conditions like kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2015).
Maintaining a normal blood pressure is dependent on the balance between the cardiac output (stroke volume, heart rate) and total peripheral resistance; hence an alteration in any of these factors can impose changes on the value of the blood