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
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