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New study shows why hypertension affects black males disproportionately

Bethesda, MD Hypertension (HT) remains a public health challenge because it is so prevalent and leads to increases in cardiovascular disease. It is a disease that disproportionately affects African-American males. Not only does HT occur more frequently among this group, it also presents itself earlier in their life, and causes increased complications of cardiovascular diseases compared with white Americans.

Because changes in the arterial wall compliance and autonomic function often precede the onset of HT, a team of researchers has sought to identify whether differences in these areas exist among young, health African-American males who show no evidence of hypertension and compared them with their non-African-American counterparts. A joint research team from Columbia and Howard Universities has proven that indeed such differences exist. Moreover, as changes in these regions may be antecedent markers of HT, a safe, relatively inexpensive screening and detection program should be considered to target individuals at risk. Such early screening may help reduce the staggering human and financial impact the disease has upon black men in America.

A New Study

The authors of a new study, "Low Arterial Compliance in Young African-American Males," are Adrienne S. Zion, Richard P. Sloan, Matthew N. Bartels, John A. Downey, Ronald E. De Meersman, and Robert E. Fullilove, of Columbia University, New York, NY, and Vernon Bond, Richard G. Adams and Deborah Williams, of Howard University, Washington, DC. Their findings appear in the August 2003 edition of the American Journal of Physiology -- Heart and Circulatory Physiology, one of 14 scientific journals published monthly by the American Physiological Society (APS) (http://www.the-aps.org).

Methodology

Thirty-two African-American (AA) volunteers were compared with a similar group of 29 non-African-American (NAA) males recruited from the
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
23-Sep-2003


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