Violence &
Cardiovascular Risk


Exposure to violence puts male African American adolescents at greater cardiovascular risk in early adulthood than their female counterparts, according to a study by Dawn Wilson, Ph.D of Virginia Commonwealth University in Virginia.

Results showed a direct correlation between violence, raised sympathetic nervous system activity, and health threatening non-dipping blood pressure readings (when blood pressure falls by less than 10% during sleep).

In some studies the absence of nighttime decline in blood pressure has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Nearly 12 million African Americans have hypertension. Untreated hypertension prematurely ages the body's arteries and can lead to stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure, often without warning.

African Americans are more likely than any other group to suffer the consequences of hypertension and men less than 50-years old are less likely diagnosed, treated and controlled than their Caucasian counterparts.

Source: Black Men 10/1

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