Hypertension in Asian Americans
There are many ways in which human beings relate with each other in their day to day activities. The way we relate to these issues, and our capability to handle or tackle them to the best result dictates a lot about what we want to achieve in life. These things can also be used to determine our achievements or the areas in which we have failed to prosper to our expectations.
Sociology can therefore, be defined as the study of critically analyzing people’s activities on a day to day activity basis.
In terms of sociology and how human beings relate to each other, diseases or infections that attack a certain population can sometimes severe socializing ties between people of different ethnic groups, religions and race among other factors. What people ought to understand is that the human body is prone to many infections (Nadar & Lip, 2009). Most of these infections also attack specific parts of the human body. For example, there are those that attack the urinary system, the brain, the abdominal cavity among other specific regions of the body. However, in this case study, I will address hypertension among the Asian American community in the United States of America. I will look at the history of this disease, the health disparities associated with diseases among the Asian Americans, morbidity and the mortality cases.
In investigating hypertension among the Asian American population, it is important to point out that the minorities in the United States of America tend to be affected by chronic diseases as compared to their white counterparts (Khan, 2006). For example, history has long shown that different populations in the United States inhibit different disease as well as health outcomes. For example, the African American community and the Latinos have a much higher risk of contacting diabetes at an old age as compared to their white counterparts in their old age. In fact, research put this number at double chances of infection as compared to the whites in the United States. Research also puts African Americans at 10% more chances of cancerous infections as to when they are compared to other populations in the country. In this context, the Asian Americans have not been left behind when it comes to attacks by infections that tend to attack a particular race more than the other one (Zane &Young, 2013). Asian Americans have been known to be prone to hypertension attacks in the United States of America from as early as when they came to build the American railway lines.
Hypertension is also referred to as high blood pressure or arterial hypertension. This is a chronic medical condition that inhibits itself in form of blood pressure in the arteries rising above norm. When this condition attacks a patient, the heart is forced to overwork since there is high pressure in the blood vessels and if not managed properly and quickly, it can lead to a very quick death (Maddox, 2005). Scientists have summarized this disease in two categories, depending on the relaxed or the contracting state of the myogenic heart muscle. There is systolic measurement, which represent when the heart muscle is contracting, and the diastolic measurement which represents when the heart muscle is relaxed. These two states also determined whether a person’s blood pressure is high or low, conditions that are both fatal since they are abnormal.
This disease is categorized into two. That is the essential or primary hypertension, and the second hypertension. Most of hypertension cases are categorized as essential hypertension because they seem to inhibit no obvious medical cause or explanation of making the blood pressure rise. However, scientists argue that secondary hypertension is, and can be triggered by other infections that attack other regions of the body like; the endocrine system, the heart, the kidneys and also the heart itself.
Hypertension is a common among the Asian American population in the United States and even in other places of the world (Macgregor & Kaplan, 2010). Medical practitioners often find themselves in situations where they are confronted by cardiovascular cases when it comes to this population more than any other. There are experts who have even gone to the extent of trying to figure out why such a disease would pick a single race to terrorize. Many scientist came up with different theories, but the most common that seemed to come up in every research was that this population inhibit many gene mutation characteristics, which this condition find easy to attack. Researcher found polymorphisms pathogenesis characteristics in this Asian American population, although their significance in this people remains a mystery (Black & Elliott, 2007). There are Asian Americans who have become aware of this condition with other even seeking treatment on the matter. Those that have been treated are known to show low chances of being attacked by hypertension.
However, medical practitioners have also pointed out that there are odd drugs resistance characteristics that are observed in Asian American persons when subjected to antihypertensive medications, which are not observed in their white counterparts (Zane & Young, 2013). As a result, scientists have tried to use a different approach in explaining these different characteristics witnessed in these people even though they live in the same regions with whites. Some have tried to look at the connection between these characteristics and tea, a delicacy that many Asian Americans worship. These researches have come up with different conflicting theories meaning that it is still mysterious. There are even others who have tried to associate this condition with the angiotensin – converting enzyme associated with cough inhibitor. It is believed that this enzyme may be one of the factors that will provide the answers in future for this condition which seems to attack Asian Americans more, since it also seems to be more common in them than in any other race.
According to a research done in the state of San Francisco in 2009, it showed that Japanese and Filipinos inhibit the highest number of hypertension attacks among the Asian American population (Macgregor & Kaplan, 2010). Medical practitioners who did this research advise early hypertension reduction practices in attempt to curb the disease. They believe that understanding these populations culture, and any other barriers that may help in understanding diets that may help in curbing this disease. They also believe that the American government should invest more in lifestyle counseling and nutrition advances in controlling hypertension as well as medical therapy. These doctors also believe that there is little to no knowledge of this condition among Asian American community in the United States of America (Zane & Young, 2013). Therefore, they feel that there should be educative forums through government sponsorships, Nongovernmental organization efforts as well as media input in the matter. It is so unfortunate that this disease does not have any particular signs and symptoms. Most of the time that an individual is identified as having this disease is when unrelated problem is being addressed by a medical practitioner (Khan, 2006). Other than that, this disorder is detectable through screening. However, large populations of those who have this disease show characteristics like lightheadedness, fainting memory episodes, altered vision, vertigo, tinnitus and headaches in the mornings.
Diagnosing hypertension is not that easy because it all relies on the signs and symptoms that may be inhibited by an individual, and they are not so clear or easy to interpret. Therefore, diagnosis primarily is dependent on the persistence of the pressure of one’s blood (Maddox, 2005). In the past, the technology that was used in identifying this disease was not advanced as todays. Therefore, patients used to wait for sphygmomanometer measurements that were taken on monthly intervals for as long as 3 months. However, with the recent developments in technology, this condition can be detected within a period of just 7 days now that even ambulances are equipped with the right equipments of achieving the same. After diagnosis, a patient is subjected to antihypertensive drugs that reduce that patient from going into shock and other heart diseases (Maddox, 2005). These drugs also reduce the chances of a patient experiencing heart failure, dementia or cardiovascular disease mortalities. Here are even cases that call for blood reduction by 5 mmHg if the pressure is too high to prevent any of the above scenarios.
Hypertension tops the list of the most preventable diseases with a high risk factor in the world of medicine. However, it is good to understand that this condition increases many risks like; strokes, ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, pulmonary embolism and aortic aneurysms among other cardiovascular diseases (Nadar &Lip, 2009). It is also a risk factor when it comes to the chronic kidney disease, dementia as well as cognitive impairment. These are effects that have been witnessed with the Asian American community. In fact, this risk factor is said to have increased cardiovascular activities that tends to collaborate with other disease like abdominal obesity.
In Asian Americans, this condition’s epidemiological studies clearly put this community at higher rates of having this condition than any other race. In fact, a research done in 2010 showed that 57% of stroke deaths that occur in India are caused by hypertension (Zane & Young, 2013). In fact, research also show that in the year 1990, cardiovascular diseases contributed to more than 2 million people in India. Many scientists have tried coming up with different explanations with some citing sodium intake and reduced physical activity among the Asian American population as the reasons, although none of these theories has proved to be constant.
Black, H. R., & Elliott, W. J. (2007). Hypertension: A companion to Braunwald’s heart disease. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
Khan, M. I. G. (2006). Encyclopedia of heart diseases. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic.
MacGregor, G., & Kaplan, N. M. (2010). Hypertension. Abingdon: Health Press.
Maddox, G. L. (2005). The encyclopedia of aging: A comprehensive resource in gerontology and geriatrics. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Nadar, S., & Lip, G. Y. H. (2009). Hypertension. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zane, N. W. S, & Young, K. N. J. (2013). Confronting critical health issues of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.