hypertension

Recent Articles

Defining health disparities

Dr. Crutchfield, what do people mean when they use the term “health disparity”?  

Merriam-Webster defines disparity as “the state of being different.” The term “health disparities” refers to several conditions. It almost always refers to differences in groups relating to their socioeconomic status, race and/or gender. It can also mean differences in the presence of certain diseases within groups. It can mean the outcomes of disease treatment in these groups. It can mean the quality of health care and access to healthcare services that exist within these groups. Disparities can also be caused by a lack of efficiency within the healthcare system. As a result of the lack of efficiency, some studies (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies) have speculated that approximately $50 billion are spent wastefully every year in the U.S. By reducing or eliminating health disparities, there could be a significant savings to the healthcare system accompanied by an overall increased quality of health care. Continue Reading →

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March on Washington – 50 years later

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. set the stage for the environmental justice movement
 

I  was not alive August 28, 1963. The March on Washington was held 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and eight years to the date of the lynching of Emmett Till. Being inquisitive, I look for clues in history that might lead to our freedom from oppression. I often find myself looking through the words of Dr .Martin Luther King for inspiration. I admit that I often skip the “I Have a Dream” speech. Continue Reading →

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What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Inell Rosario, M.D.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition in which, while asleep, a person stops breathing or their breathing becomes extremely shallow for 10 seconds or more. There is ongoing respiratory effort to breathe, but no or minimal airflow is getting into the body as tissues in the throat have collapsed and are limiting air or oxygen from getting to the lungs. It is most often noticed by persons who live with the patient as the breathing pauses can be quite dramatic and alarming to hear.  

Why should I care about OSA

Obstructive sleep apnea, once poorly understood and at times the source of comedy, is now understood to be a very serious medical condition affecting essentially all aspects of a person’s health. Untreated OSA makes management of common diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and obesity much less effective. Also, patients with OSA are more likely to complain of daytime tiredness, be less productive at work, be involved in motor vehicle and work accidents, and have more issues with depression. As one ages, the incidence of OSA increases in part because of the increased collapse or sag of airway tissue. Therefore, either you will eventually suffer from OSA or it will affect someone you know, so learning more about it is very important.  

What causes OSA? Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of tissues in the upper airway, especially at the level of the back of the tongue. Continue Reading →

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Understanding and avoiding John Henryism

Have you ever put 110 percent effort in at work or into a project? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you worked, it was not enough? Have you ever felt the need to work harder than normal and still not get the credit or respect for your work? Do you think your efforts are affecting your health? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be suffering from John Henryism! Continue Reading →

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How does racism cause mental illness?

As we closed out the month of May, the DSM-5 was being released. The DSM-5 is mental health’s equivalent to the Bible. There has been a lot of discussion about addressing racism as a precursor to mental illness, more particularly to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recently, Dr. Monnica Williams wrote an article for Psychology Today on this very subject. According to Dr. Williams, “Similar to rape victims, race-related trauma victims may respond with disbelief, shock or dissociation, which can prevent them from responding to the incident in a healthy manner. Continue Reading →

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Why should I care about high blood pressure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD and

J. Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE

 

High blood pressure may cause damage to vital organs over time. Brain damage causes a stroke. Heart damage causes a heart attack. And kidney damage causes kidney failure. High blood pressure may also damage the eyes and blood vessels, causing weakening of the blood vessel walls. If a blood vessel wall balloons out, this is called an aneurysm.  Aneurysms may break and bleeding can happen.  

What causes high blood pressure? The blood pressure is determined by the amount of squeeze created by the circular smooth muscle of the blood vessels, by the speed at which the heart beats, and by the volume inside the blood vessels made up by the blood. The blood pressure will go up if there is too much squeeze from the blood vessels. It will also go up if there is excess volume in the circulation. And it will go up if the heart is stimulated to beat faster or stronger. Adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone, causes the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to squeeze tighter. Therefore, too much adrenaline, as is the case with stress, can cause the blood pressure to go up. Table salt has sodium. Sodium holds on to water. So, the sodium inside blood vessels will hold on to water. Continue Reading →

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Adding race to the ACE (Study)

Currently, in social service circles across the nation the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study is becoming a focal point on understanding and treating clients. Dr. Vincent J. Felitti originally conducted the ACE study in 1985. The original study was created from a weight-loss program for people with obesity. That study produced a result that showed that many of the participants unconsciously used their obesity as a shield against unwanted sexual attention, and many had been sexually or physically abused as children. The study was reproduced in the 1990s with the addition of Dr. Robert F. Anda. Continue Reading →

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Top health risks for the African American community

 

There are several common health issues that place the population at risk of increased injury and early death. We as a population always wonder how to protect ourselves from these common health issues. Good health references good quality of life. It has been shown in multiple studies that risk-factor reduction is a certain method we use for defense against injury and poor health. Risk-factor reduction requires good input from both the patient and healthcare providers. Continue Reading →

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