African Americans are more likely to develop
high blood pressure and often have more severe high
blood pressure than other groups. They also are more likely to have the
condition at an earlier age than others. African Americans also have higher risk of stroke and kidney disease.
The treatment of blood pressure in African Americans is not different from other groups. Your doctor will give you a blood pressure goal. An example of a goal is to keep blood pressure below 140/90. Your goal may be lower or higher based on your health and age. Your blood pressure goal can help you prevent problems caused by high blood pressure.
You can help lower your blood pressure by making healthy
changes in your lifestyle. If those lifestyle changes don't work well enough, you may also
need to take medicine.
Healthy lifestyle changes are important for everyone. They include eating heart-healthy foods, being active, staying at a healthy weight, and not smoking. For many African Americans, sodium raises their blood pressure. So limiting sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy eating plan.
James PA, et al. (2013). 2014 Evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: Report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). Journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.284427. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Weber MA, et al. (2013). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of hypertension in the community. Journal of Clinical Hypertension. DOI: 10.1111/jch.12237. Accessed December 19, 2013.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology