- Why Do Black People Have Higher Blood Pressure
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension): Symptoms And More
Why Do Black People Have Higher Blood Pressure – Junior George Preston wears gloves, a durag and a mask to protect against Covid-19 as he goes out into his neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama. Photo courtesy of George Preston.
“Racial health disparities have been a problem for decades, if not centuries, and nothing has been done about it,” said Roslyn Satchel, activist researcher and professor of communications. “I wonder if finally, now that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed these massive systemic problems, if one person wouldn’t just make an effort to do something to stem the tide and change the flow, actually save some lives.”
Why Do Black People Have Higher Blood Pressure
African Americans make up just 13% of the overall U.S. population, but the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 33% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients are African American.
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These statistics reveal racial inequalities related to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to health, socioeconomic factors and racial profiling. The CDC also found that as of April 14, 17.9% of Covid-19-related deaths were among African Americans.
In interviews with five experts and 10 students, they all expressed that racial disparities during the Covid-19 pandemic are unfortunate and heartbreaking. Many, however, said this was not surprising given that the health and well-being of Black people has never been a priority in the US.
“It is absolutely disheartening that the black population is at such a disadvantage, and it just goes to show that something is systematically wrong,” junior Hope Horn said. “It just breaks my heart to know that we [as Black people] are at a disadvantage and probably not getting the proper treatment that we deserve.”
Experts say African Americans have always experienced existing health problems and are more likely than the general population to experience such conditions.
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Thema Bryant-Davis, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, said Black health problems stem from the period of slavery and its immediate aftermath, and are related to the diets Black people could afford at the time.
“If you read slave narratives, a lot of what was served [for meals] was leftovers, and through our creativity we learned to make meals with things that other people didn’t want to eat,” Bryant-Davis said.
This influences the African American diet even today, where there is a culture of soul food—ethnic foods prepared by African Americans that include fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cornbread, and so on.
A Thanksgiving dinner featuring some of the most important foods for the soul — macaroni and cheese, vegetables, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, bread — which often contain excessive amounts of salt and contribute to existing health problems for some African Americans. Photo: Brianna Willis.
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Although soul food may be considered flavorful, it can cause more health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease due to the excess salt and high fat content.
Only 46% of the general US population is thought to have high blood pressure, but only over 40% of African Americans have high blood pressure, and many say it also develops it earlier in life, making it more serious. American Heart Association.
Pre-existing conditions, including obesity, diabetes and lung disease, increase the risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
“Health disparities in the African American community have always existed,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at an April 7 news conference. “But here again, in the face of the crisis, it is now shining a bright light on how unacceptable this is, because once again in a situation like coronavirus, people suffer disproportionately.”
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Knowing that Black people suffer more disproportionately compared to white populations, Satchel said she didn’t understand why nothing was done.
“I know there is research being done. I know our government knows about racial health disparities,” Satchel said. “I know these huge healthcare industries are aware of how diseases disproportionately impact Black and brown communities and people.”
“[It] comes down to chattel slavery because our bodies have been commodified, and once our bodies are commodified, there are a lot of different ways to look at it,” said Eric Wilson, associate dean for student affairs, executive director of spiritual life programs and an African-American scholar -activist. “Whether it’s, ‘Oh, let’s dry this body off and then get rid of it because there will be another one,’ or, ‘Let’s just take care of the body so it can do what we need it to do.'”
In 1932, doctors first began using black men, called “Negro men,” in experimental work for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, observing the natural history of untreated syphilis. However, the researchers did not inform the participants about the purpose of the study, and when penicillin became a known drug, they did not offer it to any of the men.
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Many Black Americans currently lack confidence in the health care system when it comes to doctors and hospitals, according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
“There is a lot of skepticism between the Black community and the medical system,” senior Ikechukwu Egwuonwu said. “For example, I was warned to remove ‘organ donor’ from my driving license.
Egwuonwu said he didn’t want first responders to think twice about saving his life because he is a black man, an organ donor and is type O negative.
Senior Ikechukwu Egwuonwu wears a mask and heads to the town square, holding his fraternity’s symbol. Photo courtesy of Ikechukwu Egwuonwu.
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A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that African Americans’ lack of trust in doctors is more than just incompetence, but rather “perceptions of physician greed and racist expectations” that influence whether African Americans will seek health care at all.
“The type of treatment that [African Americans] get if they are sick [is poor] – if they go to the doctor at all – because there is also the fear that many African Americans will go to the doctor and be used for various tests,” said public professor relations Jamila Cupid.
Even with the growing Covid-19 pandemic, experts in many cases say Black people are still not believed when they need to get tested and instead are turned away.
“Just look at what’s happening right now with Covid – for example, if an African-American goes to the doctor [or] calls the doctor, they’re much less likely to get tested than others,” Cupid said.
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According to the Center for American Progress project, in 2018, African Americans made up 13% of the general population, but 20.8% of African Americans lived below the poverty line.
As a result, Black people can perform essential labor jobs and lack the skills to practice social distancing, which is one of the best weapons people have in the fight against the coronavirus.
“We’re talking about [vulnerable] people who often have no choice about whether they go to work,” Satchel said. “One day you can have a stay-at-home order and the next day your company or employer says you’re an essential worker and therefore you have to go to work.”
“There are discrepancies in [social distancing] practice itself, so we have privileged people who may be exposed to less contact and people who are more vulnerable. And this group disproportionately includes African Americans, who are more exposed to the environment,” said Susan Gooden, dean and professor of public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, during an April 16 webinar of the American Society for Public Administration.
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Additionally, social distancing in African American communities is particularly difficult due to small and close-knit communities.
“When we talk about the ‘projects,’ and we talk about what some people like to call the ‘ghetto’ or the ‘hood, we are talking about the way in which this society has been camped… entrenched — low-income communities in tight neighborhoods, often in the most disadvantaged locations.” ” Satchel said.
Research shows that some African Americans may not want to deal with the health care system at all, while others may want to get tested but don’t have the resources or access to a test.
“As this has picked up steam in the U.S., you can see that some people have been able to automatically take the tests,” said Olivia Robinson, a senior and co-president of the Black Student Association. “Whereas for the general population – and especially people in poor communities – you might get questions like, ‘Well, where are the tests?’ [or] ‘Oh, there’s not enough testing – there’s not enough people to do the testing,’ so I think that definitely had an impact on whether people had access to testing.”
High Blood Pressure (hypertension): Symptoms And More
Another important weapon in the fight against the coronavirus is a mask or some type of face covering. But for black men especially, masks may do more harm than good.
The Washington Post reported that on March 15 in Woodriver, Illinois – one of the states with the highest disparity in Covid-19 rates among African Americans – a police officer followed two African American men wearing masks who entered a Walmart for no apparent reason. than racial profiling.
“You tell us to wear a mask, you tell us how to make one if we do