Study: 3 in 4 black adults have high blood pressure by their mid-50s

checking blood pressure photoBy American Heart Association News

Black adults are substantially more likely than white adults to develop high blood pressure by age 55, found a study that followed nearly 4,000 people for 30 years. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, and the findings may provide insights as to why black Americans have higher death rates from cardiovascular diseases than their white peers.

S. Justin Thomas, the lead author of the study and a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the findings point to the need to begin talking about high blood pressure as early as grade school.

“I think even an intervention when you’re going into school systems teaching kids about the importance of diet and exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are all things that need to be done at a really young age,” said Thomas. “We can’t wait until people are 40 or 50 to start talking about hypertension.”

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