African Americans have among the highest rates of hypertension (consistent elevation of systemic arterial blood pressure) in comparison to other nationalities. Many factors have contributed to this epidemic, including geographical location, lifestyle and dietary habits, and even genetic components. Morbidity and mortality rates are greatly affected by compliance and management in African Americans battling hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases. This literature review will explore the current approaches toward hypertension, specifically in the African American community. Also, it will explore how Healthy People 2020 objectives and practices within the clinical setting will change the outlook on preventing, managing, and treating hypertension among African Americans in the future.
Hypertension is “defined in the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7) as a sustained systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or greater or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or greater”(McCance & Huether, 2014, p. 1132). Unfortunately, hypertension is highest among African Americans and tends to develop at any earlier age than Caucasians. A wide variety of dynamics has influenced the increased prevalence of hypertension among this specific population.
Risk factors, Racial differences, and Geographical Variation
Several risk factors among this population that contribute to the continued rise in…