Hypertension in African American Men – Cardiovascular System Example

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"Hypertension in African American Men" is a perfect example of a paper on the cardiovascular system. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common illness where the blood pressure is elevated or equal to 140 mm Hg systolic, or when diastolic is greater or equal to 90 mm Hg. Heart attack and stroke are diseases of great importance in the American population due to the great number of resultant deaths and paralysis and expenses incurred in treatment. High numbers are affected by this pandemic every day predominantly African American men who suffer mainly from high blood pressure, a prospect factor for heart diseases and stroke.

This paper addresses the issue of high prevalence rates of high Blood pressure hence stroke and heart disease among African American men. The number of men with hypertension is higher among African American men than in any other group of men or women. The result from National Centre for Health Statistics (2008) carried on Americans between the age of 20 and 74 years show a larger percentage of African American men with hypertension. The research was carried out across ethnicity, sex, and race.

Between 1988 and 1994, 30.3 % of African American men had hypertension as compared to 19.7 % white men, 22.2 % Mexican American men, and 26.4 % African American women. Between 1999 and 2002, a significant decline was detected in all the groups. During this period, 28.3 % African American men had hypertension as compared to 17.6 % of white men, 21.5% Mexican American men, and 28.8 % African American women. From 2002-2006, results showed 26.5% African American men as opposed to 17.4 % white men, 15.5 % Mexican American and a great decline to 23.9 % in African American women.

This shows a high prevalence among African Americans especially men (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Implications of this disease include high morbidity and mortality due to the effects of high Blood pressure. Morbidity is mainly due to stroke while mortality is due to heart diseases as well as cerebrovascular disease (Glanz et al, 2008). African Americans are generally discriminated against especially in the workplace leading to general acuity among the African Americans that healthy eating means abandoning some cultures and adopting that of the natives (Quaye, 2005). The PEN-3 model, developed by Collins Airhihenbuwa suggests culture should be at the forefront in preventing diseases and promoting health education.

The three-factor of the PEN-3 model are health education, educational diagnosis of health behavior, and cultural appropriateness of health Behaviour. PEN -3 suitably applies in the African American culture and results suggest that the community, as well as their culture, dictates their dietary habits hence the chances of hypertension. There are perceptions that overweight is not regarded as detrimental among African American men.

They tend to overindulge in foods that may not be healthy as opposed to healthy foods an example is a great preference for junk foods. The accessibility of resources and lack of reinforcing factors from relatives is another predisposing factor (Glanz et al, 2008). Health education should aim at empowering people to make apposite choices on their positions in families and communities such as providing culturally apt health programs. The African American men still need to be informed on basic nutrition concerning proper diets as well as serving the right portions.

African American families are not supportive of dietary changes, thus need to be involved to support men take control of their lives and diets (Quaye, 2005).     Most African Americans lack faith in the health system thus educational diagnoses should aim at motivation by carrying out outreach programs in worship places as well as barbershops. The young need to be educated on hypertension, which can be done using social networks and web-based programs. On the cultural appropriateness, African American men have a preference of speaking of their health problems in groups as opposed to individually thus group screening should be encouraged.

Programs to reduce hypertension should aim at being involved for example by carrying out events such as community screening and health education at times when men can be available. In addition, healthy practices men not familiar with, as well as that harmful behavior, picked out from nurtures need to be clogged. Programs on nutrition should be developed for groceries within African American environs (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010; Glanz et al, 2008).  


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). “A Closer Look at African American Men and High Blood Pressure: A Review of Psychosocial Factors and Systems-Level Interventions.” Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glanz, K., et al. (2008). “Health Behavior and Education: Theory, Research, and Practice.” New Jersey: John Willey and Sons.

Quaye, Randolph. (2005). “African Americans’ Health Care Practices, Perspectives, And Needs.” Maryland: University Press of America.

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