access to quality food, and getting little exercise — can increase the risk of hypertension. Socioeconomic factors, such as housing disparities and other inequities based on systemic racism, may increase African American people’s exposure to these risk factors.
Racism: Chronic exposure to racism is associated with hypertension. A 2014 systematic review found that perceived exposure to racism correlated with an increase in the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Resistant hypertension: African American people are more likely to have resistant hypertension, which occurs when blood pressure does not drop in response to medication. Researchers do not know why this is, so they need to do more research on this topic.
Earlier hypertension: Black Americans develop high blood pressure earlier in life than people in other racial groups do. In fact, one 2019 study found that 31% of Black adults aged 18–44 years had hypertension.
Lack of access to medication, and distrust of health care professionals based on historical discrimination, are among contributing factors to a lower adherence to blood pressure medications.
Certain medications also may be less effective in controlling HBP in some Black people, and they may require two or more medications to achieve their BP goal.
It appears Samuels was also taking a medication called Atenolol, because the ME notes in their findings that the medication is used to treat hypertension.
Samuels’s death is classified as due to natural causes.