Researchers just discovered a new link connected to a high blood pressure. They observed that black people who live in segregated neighborhoods are more likely to have a higher blood pressure. In contrast, those who moved to integrated communities saw a drop in their blood pressure.
Segregated Neighborhoods Have An Effect on Its Residents’ Health
The research focused on the African-Americans that moved from segregated neighborhoods to more mixed ones and involved over 2,000 participants. Scientists observed that these people had a lower blood pressure after they moved. High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for strokes and heart attacks.
“The big message here is that this study shines a light on one of the root causes of heart disease and stroke in our country,” says David Goff, the leader of the study.
Research results were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. It is the first study to follow African-American people to see how moving from segregated neighborhoods can affect blood pressure over time. This research is based on previous studies that showed that African-Americans have higher blood pressure. Previously, researchers observed that living in segregated places increases the risk of high blood pressure.
This new study brings further evidence to these claims as it offers both before moving and after data. Scientists monitored 2,280 black people, all participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults research. At the start of this study, in 1985, they were living in segregated neighborhoods from Minneapolis, Oakland, Birmingham, and Chicago.
The participants were aged between 18 and 30 at the time and were then followed for more than 25 years. People that moved to integrated neighborhoods and stayed there had a lower blood pressure. They had a 5-points lower systolic blood pressure.
Despite the fact that the difference might seem small, when it comes to a larger number of individuals, it can translate into hundreds of fewer strokes and heart attacks every year.
The study team was unable to determine the exact cause-effect relation. They did not establish the specific factors which led to these results. However, they offered various possible options, such less stress or even violence as potential causes.
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