Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Blood Pressure, Hypertension, and Stress
Hector F. Myers & Alison Woolery & J. David Creswell
Essential hypertension or high blood pressure affects almost 50 million Americans and is a major contributor to mortality from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among Americans. Hypertension increases risk for a variety of medical conditions, including myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, hypertensive retinopathy, left ventricular hypertrophy, kidney failure, and cognitive impairment. This disease disproportionately affects the poor, the elderly, and African Americans. Prevalence of hypertension is 40% higher among African Americans compared to White Americans, and African Americans develop the disease at an earlier age, experience a more severe course, and are at higher risk for left ventricular hypertrophy, stroke, renal disease, and hypertension-related mortality than all other ethnic groups in the United States. There is general consensus that hypertension is a multiply determined disease with no known specific cause. However, beginning with Franz Alexander's early psychodynamic theory, considerable scientific attention has been given ...