Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is highly prevalent in the Black community. Studies and Research conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom have demonstrated that the Black community is two to three times at greater risk of developing hypertension. it has also been demonstrated that the onset of Hypertension is at younger age among racialized communities (i.e. Black, South Asian and other minority groups).
Very often the symptoms of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) are not observed or felt. For this reason, this chronic condition has been referred as the ‘Silent Killer‘. It is therefore very important that individuals are aware and informed of the risk factors, symptoms, prevention and management of Hypertension.
At TAIBU Community Health Centre, we have dedicated resources and developed a program to provide education, management and support for people who are at risk of developing the chronic condition, are living with Hypertension and/or are living with other related chronic conditions (for example Type 2 Diabetes).
Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure or force of blood against th Walls of your blood vessels (also known as arteries). Your blood pressure reading is based on two measures called Systolic and Diastolic. The Systolic (top) number is the measure of the pressure force when your heart contracts and pushes out the blood. The diastolic number is the measure of when your heart relaxes between beats.
The Table below defines various risk for hypertension. These are general levels and may be different for other people with Type 2 Diabetes or older adults/senior population.
Overtime, high blood pressure can damage blood vessel walls, causing scarring that promotes the build-up of fatty plaque. This build-up can narrow and eventually blood arteries. It also strains the heart and eventually weakening it. Very High Blood Pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to burst resulting in a stroke.