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7.5 million deaths around the world each year are linked to hypertension or high blood pressure. One third of Americans have these health problems, and half of the population in the southeastern part of the country live with high blood pressure and hypertension.
According to the Atlanta Black Star, health officials are now referring to the Bible Belt as the “stroke belt.” The risk of complications with health problems, like high blood pressure, increases the risk of stroke.
A recent study looked at 69,000 Americans who lived in the southeast between 2002 and 2009. About 57 percent of those studied had hypertension and about 51 percent had high blood pressure.
One author of the study, Dr. Uchechukwu K. A. Sampson, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says that the rates have not changed in recent years either. According to Reuters, obesity was also a factor in this study. Those who were obese had a higher risk of having hypertension and high blood pressure.
Though treatments have certainly progressed through the years, the number of people dying from high blood pressure each year has not.
Sampson says that better communication between doctors and patients would possibly decrease blood pressure nationwide.