The Effects of High Blood Pressure On African Americans
Unfortunately, hypertension (high blood pressure) is a very common condition, affecting one in four Americans. African-Americans are at a higher risk, with more than 40 percent affected by high blood pressure. It is referred to as the “silent killer” because it is often asymptomatic, or without symptoms. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney and eye disease.
An individual is considered to have high blood pressure if they have readings at or above 140/90 mm Hg, and the goal is to keep your blood pressure below that. Recent blood pressure guidelines allow for slightly higher patient blood pressures in people aged 60 and older, but a new study suggests that may not be a good idea for African-Americans. To understand the effects of a higher recommendation, researchers looked at the medical records of 5,280 African-Americans in Jackson, Mississippi, who provided data through the Jackson Heart Study.
Tiffany Randolph, MD, the lead author of the study found that even modest increases in high blood pressure were linked to a greater risk of death and heart failure among African-American adults of all ages.
About Our Expert
Dr. Tiffany Randolph is a non-invasive cardiologist at Cone Health Medical Group Heart Care.