High Blood Pressure in African-Americans, Salt & Timbuktu

Slaves Marched Thousand Miles to Coast
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, has often been called "the silent killer."  In the African-American community, it's presence seems almost genocidal. Forty-one percent of blacks have high blood pressure, as compared to 27% of whites. They develop it at younger ages and are more likely to suffer such complications as kidney diseases, stroke, blindness and heart disease.(Wed MD).  In searching for causes, a vigorous debate has arisen in the medical community. Some researchers point to genetic factors, believing that the problem is due to hereditary factors in the make-up of people with African ancestry.  Others, point to environmental factors such as the psychological strains of dealing with racism.   But as a historian, I may have stumbled upon an altogether different take on this vital subject.

I sometimes cringe when researchers, however well intentioned, make distinctions based on race. Despite this potential pitfall, understanding how our ancestral and geological heritage can affect our health
might even save lives.


Rachael Maier has prepared an eye-opening chart offering visualizations of the sodium content of common foods.  Please take a look at these examples below and click here to read the entire chart (it may save your life!).


Hipertension said…
Lowering daily salt intake may reduce the need to prescribe additional medications to control high blood pressure, hipertension according to a new study. Being overweight, Not getting enough exercise, Drinking too much alcohol or smoking, High salt intake, Stress, Having long-term conditions such as kidney disease are the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Connie Hilliard said…
Hipertension, thanks for identifying the lifestyle issues that play such a pivotal role in controlling blood pressure. But making lifestyle changes is not as easy as it might seem. Salt, wheat and sugar are highly addictive substances. Knowing what's healthy is the easy part. Overcoming one's addiction to these foods, which are so prevalent in our society and culinary traditions, is quite another matter altogether.

Popular Posts