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Hypertension in Hispanic Americans

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Millions of Americans are living with hypertension. Collaboration of patients and providers to control the disease can help prevent life-threatening illnesses. Patient perceptions pertaining to an illness or disease can dictate one’s health behaviors, yet little attention has been directed toward the perceptions of Mexican American adults in relation to hypertension. Although hypertension is most prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics have higher rates of mortality due to poverty, cultural barriers, and customs affecting modifiable risk factors, prevention, and treatment. Without the proper treatment, many hypertensive patients may face devastating complications, including myocardial infarction, kidney failure, and blindness.

Hypertension affects approximately 73 million Americans. It is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. Hypertension, also called high blood pressure is often seen concurrent with diabetes mellitus. Many refer to hypertension as the “silent killer” because often time’s individuals are Asymptomatic. Ideally, blood pressure is expected to be less than 120mmHg systolic and 80mmHg diastolic. Hypertension is defined as sustained blood pressure of the arteries greater than or equal to 140/90mmHg. . Twenty nine percent of Mexican American men and thirty one percent of Mexican American women are living with hypertension. Mexican American hypertension levels are compatible to non-Hispanic whites; however, they are less likely to have their blood pressure treated or controlled compared to whites and African Americans. Hypertension increases the work load of the heart leading to other chronic disease processes, most commonly myocardial infarction often referred to as a heart attack. La...

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