According to a new study, a startling 75 percent of black people in the United States develop high blood pressure by the age of 55. That’s a far higher rate than seen among either white men (55 percent) or white women (40 percent).
So, why does this hit so close to home for black Americans?
“We started to see differences between blacks and whites by age 30,” said lead researcher S. Justin Thomas. “We need to start focusing on preventing hypertension [high blood pressure], particularly in blacks, at an early age,” he added.
Thomas is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s department of psychiatry.
It isn’t known why black Americans are more prone to high blood pressure at an earlier age than white Americans, Thomas said. But he speculated that a combination of lifestyle and genetics may explain why.
Thomas said preventing high blood pressure needs to