Hypertension Among African-Americans Nursing Process and Health Essay

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Hypertension among African-Americans

Nursing Process and Health Promotion of Groups and Community Theory

Hypertension is very rampant in African-Americans, and health providers link it with three major chronic diseases, which include; stroke, kidney and heart diseases. This paper examines the incidence of hypertension in African-Americans in the five subsystems of the SDS Assessment Categories. African-Americans suffer high risks of organ damage as well as stroke and heart diseases, caused by hypertension. Health providers, especially nurses, ought to be very practical in identifying hypertension in African-Americans and increase their aggressiveness in regulating and treating person(s). In addition, health providers should focus in providing health education in order to reduce and prevent mortality and morbidity rate in the African-Americans suffering from hypertension.


Hypertension is an example of a chronic disease that causes major health problems to numerous Americans and a key issue to almost every racial group residing in the United States. Hypertension is one of the major challenges affecting the African-Americans society since America reports the highest rates in the entire world (Heckler, Lambert, Leventhal, Leventhal, Jahn, and Contrada, 2008). Even though, there have been significant enhancements in treating high blood pressure, patients with controlled high blood pressure condition remains at a lower level, with current trends suggesting a high rise in the number of unregulated hypertensions issues. This is especially true for the aged persons and African-Americans (Heckler et al., 2008).

Africans Americans reports the highest rate of hypertension and severe blood pressure regulation than their white counterparts, and lack of proper medication may worsen this condition. Most patients suffering from established hypertension cases experience severe blood pressure cases, and African-Americans are inexplicably among this group (Kressin, Wang, Long, Bochour, Orner, Rothendler, Clark, Reddy, Kozak, kroupa, and Berlowitz, 2007). However, as asserted by DeSimone, (2009), most patients that are hypertensive fail to achieve the required therapeutic blood pressure levels in spite of clinical instructions and obtainable pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies.

The low level of control rates occurs because of lack of consciousness, breakdown of improved treatments, non-adherence of patients suffering from therapies, and the significance of accentuating supportive and non-pharmacological approaches. This paper will focus on hypertension among the African-Americans in the community of Irvington New Jersey (American Fact Finder, 2013).

Subsystem of the SDS Assessment Categories

This paper employs the Systems Development Stress (SDS) model for a complete and holistic evaluation of the Irvington township community. From the five sub-systems of the SDS model, namely, Biological, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Non-human environmental and Socio-cultural models, this literature uses, the biological and intrapersonal models.

The prevalence of hypertension predilection for cardiovascular disease is approximately 32% elevated in the Black and most of the medications applied in treating hypertension are ineffectual in decreasing blood pressures of the Blacks than for the whites (Douglas, Barkris, Epstein, Ferdinard, & Flack, 2003). For this reason, in order to prevent the occurrence of complications linked with hypertension, the purpose of care is to assist the patient maintain his/her blood pressure within the therapeutic level that will assist in lowering cardiovascular cases, renal morbidity and death (Douglas et al., 2003).

Complications related to hypertension, for example, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and renal failure, affects more than 40% of African-Americans that are over twenty years and this accounts for approximately 20% of deaths, which doubles the percentage rate for whites suffering from the same condition (Shobha, Cherukuri and Mayo., 2007). The frequency and cases of hypertension in America are approximately 1.5 to 2.0 higher in African-Americans than the white race. The city of Irvington in the state of New Jersey has a density population of about 53,900 and 85.4% is mainly the African-Americans. This is a great concern to the city with such a high rate of African-Americans (United States Census 2010).

Biological sub-system

In the biological sub-system, nutrient deficiency and lack of physical exercise plays a larger role in increasing the rate of high blood pressure in African-American population. As asserted by Kulkarni, (2004), traditional foods, for instance, fried foods such as chicken, fish or meat, consists of high percentage of fats and calories. Most of these foods is deep-fried and breaded and has a higher chances of causing higher blood pressure.

This is because the fats tends to constraint the blood vessels, which means blood has to flow in higher pressure in order to overcome the constrictions, thus rising the blood pressure. There are numerous factors under the Biological sub-system causing hypertension as discussed in this paper. However, in addition to giving an overview of these factors, in shall discuss on the two major factors that cause hypertension under the Biological subsystem, which comprises Cardiovascular and other factors (The United States Census, 2010).

Cardiovascular Biological Sub-system

Hypertension is typically the most significant risk element for untimely cardiovascular disease. This is even more common than smoking cigarettes, dyslipidemia, and diabetes that form other factors of hypertension. Hypertension accounts for more than 54% of the stroke cases and 47% of the ischemic heart disease events globally. Hypertension raises the level of risk of developing a diversity of cardiovascular diseases, for instance, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease. The coronary diseases are prevalent in men while as, women are prone of contracting stroke cases, which are the initial cardiovascular cases identified after the occurrence of hypertension, as discovered from the data presented by Framingham Heart Study (The United States Census, 2010).

Based on the evidence that there is an increase in mortality rate amongst adolescents in United States, particularly, in African-Americans, whereby there is an increased rate of cardiovascular diseases than among the whites. There is, thus, a need for increased attention in order to lower the rate. The prevalence for the coronary disease and stroke swells increasingly with high-rise in blood pressure, above 115/75 mmHg. However, it is essentials to prove beyond reasonable doubts the causes of high blood pressure because the increase can result from other factors, such as increased body gain linked with dyslipidemia, high glucose concentration, and the metabolic syndrome (Garvin, 2007).

For this reason, healthcare providers ought to verify the results by enhancing antihypertensive therapy. High systolic pressure in individuals with over 60 years of age, and high diastolic pressure in younger adolescents explains the high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Another determiner of risk is the pulse pressure.

This is the distinction occurring between the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and large blood arteries explain the difference. They are various projections made for the anticipated increase in the rates of morbidity and mortality, which results from a 10 to 12 mmHg reduction in systolic pressure a 5 to 6 -- mmHg decrease in diastolic pressure following data from numerous clinical trials conducted over the last three decades. Even though, this does not prove either the causes or effects, the anticipated benefit from such level of blood pressure reduction is a 38% decrease in prevalence of stroke and a 16% decrease in threats of coronary disease (Garvin, 2007).

Other factors

Other factors include the issue of obesity. There is a high probability that the fried foods cause obesity. Statistics indicate that approximately 25% of patients suffering from high blood pressure are obese. The obese persons are prone doubling the risks of suffering from high blood pressure than persons having normal body weights. In most cases, children and adolescents that are obese at the tenders increase their chances of getting hypertension when they attain maturity age (Garvin, 2007).

As discussed, most of the foods the African-American use contain high quantities of calories and fats, and thus they block the bloodstreams. Therefore, blood has to flow under very high pressure in order flow through the fats. In addition, age and gender falls under the biological sub-system. Age is a key threat to hypertension. Men that are over 45 years, and women aged 55 years have a high risk of contracting hypertension. More than half of African-Americans over 60 years of age suffer from high blood pressure. This condition is also becoming more prevalent in children and adolescents. Boys are at a higher risk of contracting hypertension than girls (Skelly, Dougherty, Gesler, Soward, Burns, & Arcury, 2006).

On the other hand, most of the African-American community bases its food on traditional expediency, accessibility and affordability, rather than on nutritive features. As confirmed by Moulton, (2009), the economic situation of the African-Americans is typically low because of the deprived social economic. For this reason, they suffer from poor medical care and reports high blood pressure, and inadequate health education.

The United States Census (2010) endorses Moulton argument by citing that 18.5% Irvington community suffers from low standards of living while as the unemployment rate in this township falls below 15.1%. This literature describes the reasons that make high blood pressure become prevalent among the African-Americans, because they are unable to obtain healthy food.

Acquiring health food is an expensive affair, and this population lacks an alternative, but to opt for the unhealthy food. As confirmed by Gavin (2007), most African-Americans suffer from food deficiency because of…[continue]

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