Study: Black Men Raised By Single Parent Had Higher Blood Pressure As Adults

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Home blood pressure monitoring may improve control

Living at least part of childhood with both parents was associated with improved pulse pressure (the change in blood pressure when the heart contracts) and the average blood pressure throughout a heartbeat cycle (average arterial pressure). Men who spent one to 12 years of their childhood with both parents had an average 6.5 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure and a 46 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with high blood pressure. Researchers suggested three key explanations for their study results: (1) African-American children who live with their mothers alone are three times more likely to be poor, and those who live with fathers or a non-parent are twice as likely to be poor; (2) Compared to those who are raised by their two biological parents, other children are significantly less likely to find and maintain steady employment as young adults; (3) A critical period during childhood (1-12 years) and a potential mechanism through which the early life socio-familial factor operates may influence adult blood pressure. “Living with both parents in early life may identify a critical period in human development where a nurturing socio-familial environment can have profound, long-lasting influences on blood pressure,” the authors said.
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Six months after the intervention ended, 72 percent of telemonitoring patients still had their blood pressure under control, versus 57 percent of people in the comparison group. Participants who received telemonitoring were prescribed more hypertension drugs during the study.
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