Hypertension in African Americans Research Proposal

Hypertension in African Americans Research Proposal


The racial differences in hypertension and the related complications for decades are recognized with African Americans having the highest risk compared to other ethnicities. Blood pressure readings have been consistently higher in African Americans with an early onset of hypertension. Despite awareness and treatment attempts, the problem of high blood pressure has continued to rise among the African American population. For this matter, various complications are associated with hypertension among this racial group (Allison, et al, 2014). Complications include end-stage renal failure, stroke, and congestive heart failure. In this case, research is focused and highly committed to determine factors associated with racial disparities in hypertension and addressing the essential need to the existing gaps. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to identify the high risk factors of hypertension and todetermine if providing health education and developments of community programs are effective in reducing hypertension in the African American community.

Statement of problem and purpose

The major problem of discussion of this study is the high prevalence of hypertension in African Americans than other ethnicities. It is important to explore the norm, behavioral, and the disease control beliefs of the African American population in relationship to maintaining self-care behaviors that are essential in controlling and mitigating blood pressure and preventing hypertension. This would act as the first phase of studies aimed at developing clinical tools that can be utilized by the health professionals to design or develop more effective interventions aimed at reducing the disparities and prevalence of hypertension (Allison, et al, 2014).

Research question

This research is seeking to answer a specific research question concerning hypertension. In this case, the research questions would be, does the development of community programs and providing health education reduce disparities and factors associated with hypertension in predominately African American communities versus a more diverse community?


The puzzle of the high risk of hypertension among African Americans has triggered various hypotheses both research and the null hypothesis. For instance, it is hypothesized that there are some genetically determined and modified physiologic differences that exist between the African Americans and whites. In this case, the Creatinine Kinase found in AfricanAmerican’s muscles has greater amounts than the Caucasians. Creatinine Kinase tends to influence blood pressure. It is also hypothesized that the environmental factors such as psychosocial and lifestyle factors are important in the development of hypertension. It is hypothesized that the African American individuals tend to have high rates of obesity. Body mass affects blood pressure and the anthropometric measurements as it relates to the risk of high blood pressure.

Study variables

Study variables are defined as those factors or things that have quantity or quality that varies or changes. In this case, there exist both dependent and independent study barriers. The variables of this study include salt sensitivity, environmental factors such as psychosocial, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors, genetics, and the body mass index.

Operational definition of variables

Salt sensitivity

While salt sensitivity should affect blood pressure in many populations across the world, there are racial differences that exist in the intake as well as the handling of the sodium and potassium. While the prevalence of salt sensitivity in African Americans and the Caucasians remains similar, the degree of blood pressure increase and changes shows disparities (Allison, et al, 2014).

Body mass

The racial disparities in the body mass index have been recognized and suggestive of differences in blood pressure and the prevalent levels. In this case, African Americans have been associated with high chances of overweight and obesity in various age groups. However, this body mass affects blood pressure and hence the high disparities found in such individuals (Weaver et al, 2017).


Hypertension can be categorized as a lifestyle disease. Research shows that African Americans, are not associated with high rates of exercise and hence they have high chances of hypertension. On the other hand, the whites take part in exercise and this helps to reduce the excessive fat in the body and hence prevention of atherosclerosis that may lead to increased blood pressure (Sessoms et al, 2015). Meeting guidelines by adhering to lifestyle modifications through the success of the DASH diet, alcohol consumption and weight loss helps to reduce hypertension in African Americans (Sessom et al, 2015).

Psychosocial factors

Research demonstrates that the psychosocial factors play a role in the development of hypertension. These factors may include occupational stress, personality, housing instability, sleep quality, and support and remain essential factors in the development of hypertension.


According to Weaver (2017), it was identified that socioeconomic factors also correlates with the blood pressure. Residential distance may be an indicator of systolic dysfunction in the African American community. Living closer to primary highways are associated with cardiac remodeling in an understudied African American population. Primary highways with limited access are typically busier and have more air pollution that can lead to heart failure.  Those also closest to primary roads were found to have less education, lower socioeconomic and government assisted insurance (Weaver et al, 2017). African Americans who live in the United States usually suffer disproportionately high chances of hypertension when compared to other ethnic groups (Chor et al, 2015).










Allison, D. B., Edlen-Nezin, L., & Clay-Williams, G. (2014). „Obesity among African-American Women. Prevalence, Consequences, Causes, and Developing Research.“. Womens Health, 243-274.

Chor, D., Ribeiro, A. L. P., Carvalho, M. S., Duncan, B. B., Lotufo, P. A., Nobre, A. A., … & Barreto, S. M. (2015). Prevalence, awareness, treatment and influence of socioeconomic variables on control of high blood pressure: results of the ELSA-Brasil Study. PLOS one, 10(6), e0127382.

Sessoms, J., Reid, K., Williams, I., & Hinton, I. (2015). Provider Adherence to National Guidelines for Managing Hypertension in African Americans. International Journal Of Hypertension20151-7. doi:10.1155/2015/498074

Weaver, A. M., Wellenius, G. A., Wen-Chih, W., Hickson, D. A., Kamalesh, M., & Yi, W. (2017). Residential distance to major roadways and cardiac structure in African Americans: cross-sectional results from the Jackson Heart Study. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source161. doi:10.1186/s12940-017-0226-4




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