Hypertension continues to be the primary health condition commonly seen by most primary physicians. It is estimated that more than 40 million people have hypertension and a significant percentage of them are unaware of the condition. Recently, the guidelines for hypertension changed and physicians are encouraging most patients to have a blood pressure reading below 130/80. You are a serious candidate for medications(s) if this level cannot be attained with lifestyle changes after several months. Untreated hypertension places one at risk for a stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure.
Many African Americans, young and old, do not treat hypertension seriously and fail to adhere to the recommendation of the physicians regarding treatment. Major contributors to hypertension are a family history which is not often discussed in the black community, obesity, excessive drinking, and smoking. The medical community has recognized that stress from racism can also be contributory.
Talk to your primary physician about your blood pressure.
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Thaddeus J. Bell, MD
I am Dr. Thaddeus John Bell, closing the gap in health disparities for African Americans and the underserved.
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