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Study Reveals Possible Clue For Racial Differences In Prevalence Of High Blood Pressure

l molecule released by a lining of cells on the inner walls of blood vessels, "signals" the vessels to dilate and increase blood flow to skeletal muscles, such as those in the arms or legs, when they may be needed to respond to a stressful situation.

The finding may help pinpoint why blacks are far more susceptible than whites to high blood pressure and associated heart disease and illustrates the role of stress in heart disease, he says.

Blacks develop high blood pressure at an earlier age than whites and high blood pressure tends to be more severe in blacks than in whites. According to the American Heart Association, the death rate from high blood pressure for black men is about 356 percent higher than for white men. For black women, the death rate was 344 percent higher than for white women.

The finding is important, says Panza, because it identifies a potentially significant contributor to a condition that is a major national health problem. Co-authors include Carmine Cardillo, M.D.; Crescence M. Kilcoyne R.N., M.S. and Richard O. Cannon III M.D.

Media advisory: Dr. Panza can be reached by phone at 301-496-2634.


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Contact: Carole Bullock
caroleb@amhrt.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
18-Jun-1998


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