New York City’s hypertension rates are as serious as a heart attack.
One in four New Yorkers report having high blood pressure, a condition that is a leading contributor to stroke and heart disease, which account for 20% of premature deaths in people under 65, according to new research released by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Poor people and people of color suffer from hypertension disproportionately, with 35% of blacks and 33% of Latinos reporting high blood pressure to 24% of whites, and 32% of people in high-poverty neighborhoods reporting hypertension compared to 24% of those in low-poverty neighborhoods.
Shockingly, one in 10 adults younger than 45 years of age reported having high blood pressure — a condition that typically affects older people — in 2015.
New Yorkers can prevent and control hypertension by taking steps to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, including a sensible, low sodium diet (the average NYC adult consumes 40% more sodium than is recommended), maintaining a healthy weight, regularly exercising, and taking anti-hypertensive medications when indicated.
The health department said it will convene “key stakeholders in 2017 to discuss and develop a citywide response to reduce hypertension.”
Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure “with lifestyle counseling and with the right medications can prevent hospital admissions, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and premature death,” noted Mitchell Elkind MD, a neurologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.