Most black adults have high blood pressure before age 55

July 11, 2018, American Heart Association

Approximately 75 percent of black and men women are likely to develop high blood pressure by the age of 55, compared to 55 percent of white men and 40 percent of white women in the same age range, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The researchers identified 3,890 participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study who enrolled in the study between the ages 18 to 30 years without , defined as systolic/diastolic pressure of 130/80 mmHg or higher and who were not taking medication to control blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for attacks, heart failure and strokes. The researchers found that by age 55 years:

  • 75.5 percent of black men,
  • 75.7 percent of black women,
  • 54.5 percent of white men, and
  • 40.0 percent of white women developed high blood pressure.

The researchers found that higher body weight was associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure, regardless of race or gender, and those who adhered to the DASH-style diet, both blacks and whites, were at lower risk for hypertension. DASH style (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low or fat-free dairy, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts and limited in red meat and salt.

"Regardless of blood pressure levels in young adulthood, blacks have a substantially higher risk for developing high blood pressure compared with whites through 55 years of age," said S. Justin Thomas, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "It is urgent that healthcare providers counsel young patients, particularly blacks, about eating a healthy diet, being physically active and controlling body weight. The risk of high blood pressure can be significantly reduced with a healthy lifestyle."

In the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guideline for hypertension, released in 2017, the threshold for stage 1 hypertension, or high blood pressure, changed to 130 mmHg or higher for the top number or 80 mmHg or higher for the bottom number. The previous threshold for high blood pressure was at or above 140/90 mmHg. The researchers used the new definition of high blood pressure in their analysis.

"Since the definition for high blood pressure was recently lowered, it is expected that even more young African American adults will be considered to have high blood pressure," said Thomas.

"It is important to note that most high blood is preventable through lifestyle changes," said Willie E. Lawrence, Jr. M.D., a spokesman for the American Heart Association and chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. "We need to encourage all young people, and especially our young African Americans who are at highest risk, to think about their future health and make choices that will change these statistics."

Explore further: Low sodium-DASH diet combination dramatically lowers blood pressure in hypertensive adults

More information: S. Justin Thomas et al, Cumulative Incidence of Hypertension by 55 Years of Age in Blacks and Whites: The CARDIA Study, Journal of the American Heart Association (2018). DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.007988

Related Stories

Low sodium-DASH diet combination dramatically lowers blood pressure in hypertensive adults

November 13, 2017
A combination of reduced sodium intake and the DASH diet lowers blood pressure in adults with hypertension, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier ...

Blood pressure: know your numbers

April 18, 2017
(HealthDay)—Having high blood pressure makes you more likely to have heart disease or a stroke. But because high blood pressure doesn't usually cause warning symptoms, you could be at risk without even knowing it.

Adults with high blood pressure face higher healthcare costs

May 30, 2018
Adults with high blood pressure face $1,920 higher healthcare costs each year compared to those without high blood pressure, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal ...

Black, Hispanic people may be more likely to have a second hemorrhagic stroke than whites

June 6, 2018
Black and Hispanic people may be more likely to have another intracerebral hemorrhage, or a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, than white people, according to a study published in the June 6, 2018, online issue of Neurology, ...

Severe pre-eclampsia often leads to undetected high blood pressure after pregnancy

February 5, 2018
Lingering hypertension is common and may go unnoticed among women who have severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension.

Stroke survivors could gain the most from new blood pressure guidelines

June 6, 2018
Treating high blood pressure in stroke survivors more aggressively, could cut deaths by one-third, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American ...

Recommended for you

Southern diet could be deadly for people with heart disease

July 12, 2018
People with a history of heart disease who eat a traditional Southern diet are more likely to die than those who follow a Mediterranean dietary pattern, according to new research.

Late-life high blood pressure may harm the brain, study says

July 11, 2018
Decades ago, hundreds of nuns and priests made an extraordinary decision: They agreed to donate their brains upon death to science, hoping to help solve mysteries about Alzheimer's and other diseases. Now, a study that used ...

Multivitamins do not promote cardiovascular health

July 10, 2018
Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death, according to a new analysis of 18 studies published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American ...

Mobile health devices diagnose hidden heart condition in at-risk populations

July 10, 2018
Wearable mobile health devices improved the rate of diagnosis of a dangerous and often hidden heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to a first of its kind, home-based clinical study conducted in part ...

Chronic heart disease poses high financial burden to low-income families

July 3, 2018
The financial burdens of long-term care for a family member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) disproportionately affect low-income American families, even those who have insurance, found researchers at Yale ...

Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy more likely to develop CVD risk factors

July 2, 2018
Preeclampsia and gestational hypertension are common pregnancy complications involving high blood pressure that develops for the first time during pregnancy and returns to normal after delivery. Previous studies have shown ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.