High blood pressure is on the rise. Increasingly, more Americans are being diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure, recent studies by the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have shown. High blood pressure, by itself, can cause major problems, and is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Also, high blood pressure is diagnosed in obese patients. The institute’s numbers were collected from two National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys, done between 1988 and 1994, respectively 1999 and 2004. After analyzing the data and interpreting the results, the researchers found that women experience higher blood pressure after the age of 40, and men after the age of 60. In the decade prior to 2004, Americans experienced a 5.2 percent increase in high blood pressure cases. However, in the 30,781 cases studied, 72 percent knew they had the disease, 61 percent were in treatment and 35 percent were able to keep their blood pressure in check.
Robin Roberts had an “all-time low” after chemotherapy. While undergoing chemo treatments for breast cancer, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts says she reached an all-time low. “I was in a really bad place,” she tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t want to fake it [on TV].” Roberts, 47, decided to take off the last three weeks of the year – the longest break she had taken since her diagnosis last July. “I needed more rest. It was too much,” she says, especially given her grueling up-before-dawn work schedule. “I don’t recommend anyone going through chemo get up at 4 a.m.” By December, the treatment had become an emotional drain. “I was mourning the loss of my health,” says Roberts. But she rebounded quickly after her year-end respite. “I think taking long walks really helped,” she says. “And I circled Jan. 10, the day of my last chemo treatment, on the calendar so I had a goal, an end in sight.”
Two of every three Black men are overweight. Two of every three men, four out of five women and one in five children in the Black community are overweight, according to the 50 Million Pound Challenge, which seeks to reduce obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles in the Black community. Fitness expert and physician Ian Smith said he began the program last year to provide a “national platform” for healthier living among Blacks, reports The Washington Post. Smith said that the campaign’s challenge for 50 million pounds of weight loss can be met if 25 percent of the 20 million Blacks in the United States who are considered overweight or obese each lost 10 pounds (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 4/5/07). More than 690,000 people across the nation have joined the challenge since April 2007, and almost three million pounds have been lost. Smith said, “What we are trying to do is not only to get people to lose weight, but to get them to take a better look at the choices that are directly impacting their physical and spiritual health.” He added, “Poor lifestyle choices and cultural entrenchments have, unfortunately, made African Americans extremely vulnerable to a wide range of diseases that are in many cases life-threatening.”