-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that race,
gender and where you live strongly affect your risk for high blood
pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and
Deaths from heart disease and stroke in the United States
decreased 65 percent overall between 1968 and 2006, but rates of
cardiovascular death are still higher in the southeastern United
States, in blacks compared to whites, and in men compared to
Study author Dr. Deborah A. Levine and colleagues suspected high
blood pressure may play a role in these differences. They examined
data from 3,436 people in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Minneapolis
and Oakland, Calif., who took part in the Coronary Artery Risk
Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
The participants were aged 18 to 30 when they enrolled in the
study and none of them had high blood pressure. After 20 years of
follow-up, high blood pressure had been diagnosed in:
After they adjusted for a number of risk factors, the
researchers concluded that living in Birmingham significantly
increased the risk of developing high blood pressure.
"In addition, independently of where they live, blacks -- especially black women -- are at markedly higher risk of hypertension even after we took into account factors that are known to affect blood pressure, such as physical activity and obesity," Levine, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in an American Heart Association news release.
Further research is needed to learn more about how race, gender
and geography affect high blood pressure risk, she added.
The study appears in the Dec. 6 online issue of the journal
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
high blood pressure.
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