Term Paper: High Blood Pressure Awareness Proposal

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High Blood Pressure Awareness Proposal

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure (BP) awareness:

Being crowned as the 2007 Miss Nigeria in America - MNIA, I plan to undertake a High Blood Pressure Awareness as being my platform. I have chosen this issue of creating high blood pressure awareness since I have seen the impacts of having high BP, which caused me to lose my grandmother and my aunt, and now mother is a victim to it. Being an issue very close to my heart, I feel that I should do something really worth to create awareness about high blood pressure and its risk factors. ("High Blood Pressure," n. d.) High blood pressure leads to incidence and mortality evolving from coronary heart disease, stroke, and all types of cardiovascular diseases and also other cardiac abnormalities and also causes mortality. (Stamler; Stamler; Neaton, 1993) it is particularly dangerous as it sometimes comes with no warning signs or symptoms. Anyone can develop high BP irrespective of race, age, or gender. According to estimates, one in every four American adults suffers from high BP. In case high blood pressure develops, it generally lasts for a lifetime. However, one can prevent and control high BP through taking action. ("High Blood Pressure," n. d.)

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is dangerous as it pressurizes the heart to work very hard and is responsible for atherosclerosis i.e. hardening of the arteries. It increases the odds of risk of heart disease and stroke that are first and third major cause of fatalities among the Americans. Besides, high BP can also lead to other ailments like congestive heart failure, diseases of the kidney, and blindness. For those who do not encounter high BP at age 55, are almost certain of developing it during their lifetime. Therefore high blood pressure happens to be a condition which people have at some stage of their lives or other. ("What are high blood pressure and pre-hypertension?," n. d.) Many of those who have high blood pressure are not aware of it. This is a relatively silent disease.

Pre-disposition of African-Americans for developing High BP:

Since there are no symptoms known until it is too late, unfortunately my grandmother as well as my aunt had become victims of this silent killer. Since African-Americans have a great affinity for developing High BP, it is very important to have information on this front. Nearly 65 million American adults i.e. almost 1 in 3 are diagnosed with high blood pressure and it is very prevalent among the African-American, who might get it earlier in their lives more frequently compared to their white counterparts. It starts at an earlier age and is normally more acute. Besides, African-Americans have a higher death rate due to stroke and kidney ailments compared to whites. However, the silver lining is that with proper treatment, one can control high BP. Apart from that, changes in lifestyle is able to prevent and control high blood pressure. The measures include losing weight in case of overweight, increasing physical activity, adhering to a healthy eating plan which stresses on a dietary regime of fruits, vegetables and low-fat diary foods, preparing and consuming foods with less salt and sodium and moderate intake of alcohol. In case changes in lifestyles do not produce any result, a lot of blood pressure medications are available to assist. ("Who can develop High blood pressure?" n. d.)

It has been observed that almost every American experiences a constant rise in BP with advancing age. Nearly 25% of the Americans are diagnosed with hypertension accounting for some 500,000 fatalities annually. In case of Black Americans, the condition is even more acute with 35% of the community suffering from the disease. The disease is especially fatal in this population responsible for 20% of the deaths among Blacks in the U.S. that is twice the figures in case of whites. One of the accepted justification of this disparity among the blacks and whites is that African people are "intrinsically susceptible" to high blood pressure due to some of the distantly defined characteristic of their genetic makeup. However, considering the African Diaspora which was the forced migration of about 10 million West Africans to the Caribbean and the Americans is also one of the causes of hypertension of African-Americans. It is a fact that the rate of hypertension in the rural West Africa is lower compared to any other place in the world, save for some regions of the Amazon basin and the S. Pacific. (Cooper; Rotimi; Ward, n. d.)

However African descendants in America on the other hand have among the highest rates of hypertension in the world. This transition indicates that some aspects regarding the surroundings or the lifestyle of European and the American blacks instead of genetic factor was the main reason behind their transformed susceptibility to high blood pressure. One analysis of the data unravels that being overweight, and the related absence of exercise and poor diet justifies between 40 & 50% of the increased risk of hypertension which the African-Americans experience compared with the Nigerians. Differences in dietary salt are responsible to the greater dangers also. The African diaspora has transformed into a very potent instrument for assessing the impact of a changing society and environment on a comparatively steady gene pool. Besides, a question arises whether rising blood pressure is almost unavoidable hazard of modern living for people of all skin colors. The human cardiovascular system that evolved in the geographic environment of rural Africa wherein obesity was rare, salt intake was restrained, the diet was a low-fat and high level of physical activity was necessary. (Cooper; Rotimi; Ward, n. d.)

It is alarming to note the fact that a modest change from these baseline conditions results in remarkable changes in the threat for hypertension. For example, blood pressure are considerably more in Nigerian cities compared to adjacent rural areas, regardless of small differences in the group's average levels of obesity and sodium intake. Plus other variables, like psychological stress and absence of physical activity might also be responsible for this increase. Psychological and social stresses are very intricate to calibrate, particularly across cultures. Nevertheless, it is a fact that blacks in N. America and Europe encounter a unique kind of stress i.e. racial discrimination. The long-standing impact of racism on blood pressure in not known. However it is important to remember that blacks in some regions of the Caribbean, inclusive of Trinidad, Cuba and the rural Puerto Rico have average blood pressures which are almost the same as that of other racial groups. It is believed that in order to appreciate hypertension in African-Americans better, the scientific community must reevaluate the intrinsic significance of ethnic and racial divisions of our species. A lot of disciplines maintain the absence of biological basis to the concept of race; on the other hand they see it as a reflection of societal distinctions instead of readily defined scientific ones. (Cooper; Rotimi; Ward, n. d.)

The challenges of this issue can only be met by creating awareness in the Nigerian communities and also empower them to be made responsible for their health. Since high blood pressure is quite silent and could be treated effectively, the most important is that of early detection and awareness. Given the fact hat high blood pressure prevails in my family, I have a deep sense of personal commitment, involvement, and conviction to create widespread awareness regarding high blood pressure.

2. Steps you would take to promote this platform to Nigerians/Nigerians in Diaspora:

Prevention of High BP is a leading public health challenge. The various steps to be taken to promote the high BP control program will include the following broad activities. A massive fundraising campaign is to be initiated. Since I live in New York City, there could be a statewide awareness program conducted to create awareness about this disease. viz. (i) High BP pressure screening, referral, and follow-up: BP screening can be organized at specially organized event or at other gathering for dual purposes of detecting persons suffering from high BP and also to monitor the pressures of those who are already aware of their High BP are under treatment to control their blood pressure. Blood pressure screening programs particularly focused on high-risk groups, especially Nigerians/Nigerians in Diaspora could be conducted. It is important to work with employers in my own state to assure blood pressure screening and follow-up services for state employees. As regards referral, people with higher readings could be referred to a doctor or clinic for more evaluation and diagnosis. Follow-up and tracking involves that after screening program leaders get in touch with individuals with high readings or the doctors or clinics to which they are referred to guarantee that more evaluation takes place. ("Activities for priority groups and settings," n. d.) it is also important to assure blood pressure screening and follow-up services for state employees. (Controlling High Blood Pressure) ii) Administering medicine: People at religious gathering can conduct… [END OF PREVIEW]

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