A new Howard University Family Study found a correlation between high blood pressure among Black men and single-parent households. According to the study, which was published in the American Heart Association’s database, African-American males who lived with two parents had lower blood pressure compared to those who only lived with one parent.
Black men who lived with only one parent had higher systolic BP, suggesting that aside from genetics, one’s environmental factors may also play a significant role on one’s health. To conduct the study, researchers took a cross-sectional sample of 515 unrelated Black male participants over the age of 20 who enrolled in the Howard University Family Study between 2001 and 2008.
“Black men have higher blood pressure (BP) levels and consequently higher prevalence of hypertension compared with men from other ethnic groups in the United States. Socio-familial factors in childhood have been found to play an important role in hypertension, but few studies have examined this relationship among black men,” the study reads. “These results provide preliminary evidence that childhood family structure exerts a long-term influence on BP among black men.”
African Americans develop high blood pressure at younger ages than any other groups in the U.S. and are more likely to develop complications associated with high-blood pressure such as stroke, kidney disease, blindness, dementia and heart disease.
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