Rates of hypertension remain high in Southeast US

High blood pressure is more prevalent among people living in the southeastern states of the U.S., according to a new study. And scientists are particularly concerned that these rates have remained relatively high for more than a decade.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee analyzed a database with health information in the Southeast between 2002 and 2009. They compared data between white and black adults of similar income and education levels and found that almost 60 percent of the study participants had high blood pressure. Researchers also found that the black adults were twice as likely to have high blood pressure.

The findings showed that the biggest factor for high blood pressure was obesity, which quadrupled the risk for high blood pressure. Other factors included high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease. Researchers of the study said these findings are important because it emphasizes the need to implement more effective strategies in order to reduce high blood pressure rates. Physicians and patients alike should be more proactive in monitoring and treating high blood pressure, they said.

Southeastern states include the following: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky.

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Sourced from: Reuters, High rates of high blood pressure persist in US Southeast