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Hypertension in the South Side Essay

The population of the Southside Neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee is roughly six hundred and seventy three people. The races residing in this community are blacks, Hispanic, native Hawaiian and other races. The black community is the largest followed by the Hispanic community. In the population of this community, the males are three hundred and eighty while the females are two hundred and ninety three. In addition to this, in this community, about two hundred and fifty people have hypertension.

The people with high blood pressure are mostly the African American adults and the old people as well as people from the Hispanic background. Literature Review Hypertension or high blood pressure basically means high tension or pressure in the arteries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the heart to all the organs and tissues of the body. In addition to this, hypertension does not necessarily mean excessive emotional tension though stress and emotional tension can temporarily increase the blood pressure of an individual.

The normal blood pressure of a person is below 120/80 and the blood pressure between 139/89 and 120/80 is known as pre-hypertension and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high blood pressure (Weir, 2006). The top number is the systolic blood pressure and it corresponds to the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps the blood forward into the arteries (Weir, 2006). The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and it normally reflects the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed to (Weir, 2006).

An elevation of the diastolic or the systolic blood pressure increases the risk of developing cardiac disease, renal disease, hardening of the arteries, and stroke and eye damage. These complications of high blood pressure are normally referred to as end-organ damage due to the fact that damage to these vital organs is the result of chronic hypertension. For this reason, the diagnosis of hypertension is vital so that efforts can be made to normalize blood pressure of a person and thus prevent further complications.

According to Turncock (2007), the American Heart Association approximates high blood pressure roughly affects one in three people in the U. S. It is also expected that high blood pressure will affect about two million children and teens and this clearly portrays that high blood pressure is a major health problem in America. Hypertension normally tends to rise with age and this explains the reason that some of the old people in the Southside Neighborhood have high blood pressure. Most of these old people in this neighborhood are older than fifty years old.

The most common form of hypertension that they have is the Isolated systolic hypertension. This kind of hypertension only occurs when the systolic blood pressure that is the top number is high. About two adults out of three adults in this community over the age of fifty five who have hypertension have the isolated systolic hypertension (Weir, 2006). In addition to this, the African American population in the community tends to have more severe high blood pressure and is likely to have it earlier in their lives according to the Chattanooga Hamilton Health Department.

However, most of them are more likely to be aware that they have hypertension and normally get treatment faster than the Hispanic community residing in the Southside Neighborhood. On the other hand, according to the Chattanooga Hamilton Health Department, the members of the black community have higher rates than the Caucasians of other causes of death other than die from hypertension related complications such as kidney failure and stroke (Turncock, 2006). The Southside neighborhood faces some risks that are prone to hypertension in the future.

For instance, a significant number of some teenagers in the neighborhood are obese or overweight and this makes them more likely to develop pre-hypertension. Being overweight is having extra body weight from bone, muscle, water and fat while being obese is having a high amount of fat deposits in the body. However, fewer adult women in the neighborhood have hypertension. In the Southside Neighborhood, there is a community asset that supports the local public health system in promoting health and improving the quality of life.

This asset is the Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department. And it has been quite successful in carrying out its mandate. The Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department main roles are to track and investigate health problems and hazards in the Southside community. It has been quite instrumental in advocating for healthy eating habits in an attempt to curb the high rates of obesity that are quite apparent in most teenagers in Southside neighborhood.

The Chattanooga Hamilton County Health Department has collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Health to use the populating health information systems such as the hypertension registries in an attempt to find out the kind of people at risk of contracting hypertension. In the Southside neighborhood, the residents are somewhat exposed to air pollution and this can have an adverse effect on them that may lead to hypertension. Polluted air has a negative effect on a person due to the fact that blood normally per fuses all of the organs and carry beneficial substances and toxic substances to other organs.

In most cases, air pollution is the source of materials that may enter the bloodstream through the mouth, nose, skin as well as the digestive tract. Harmful chemicals such as lead, benzene and heavy metals, volatile nitrites, carbon monoxide, herbicides and pesticides. According to Stoto (2000), these substances are known to produce harmful effects on the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes and spleen. In addition to this, the blood cells of a person are regularly undergoing turnover with new cells entering the circulation as the mature cells are lost thus making the blood system very vulnerable to environmental poisoning.

For instance, lead normally interferes with the normal formation of the red blood cells by inhibiting some significant enzymes. Furthermore, lead damages the membranes of the red blood cells and interferes with the cell metabolism is a manner that somewhat shortens the survival of each cell (Swayne, 2006). In addition to this, some airborne chemicals normally stimulate the immune system to activate macrophages and leukocytes that can produce extensive damage to the tissues, especially to the cells that normally line the blood vessels.

Therefore, the combined effect of these events is to speed up changes that ultimately lead to hypertension or high blood pressure. Therefore, the health departments in Southside neighborhood, Chattanooga should ensure that the residents do not come across heavy metals such as lead that is commonly found in children toys and they should also carry out epidemiology programs in an attempt to be aware of any diseases that might be detrimental to the community. Additionally, this health department should raise the residents awareness of the chemicals discussed above as they can cause hypertension or high blood pressure.

The local public health system, private medical practitioners and other interested parties in the Southside neighborhood should come together and adapt a Less Stress Health Program, which will consist of seven parts. These parts should be plan well, move well, pray well, eat well, sleep well, think well and abstain well. If adapted by this neighborhood, this program can prevent hypertension as well as the other diseases that are normally borne out of high blood pressure such as renal failure. By enjoying life well, moving well and eating well, the residents of the neighborhood can reduce the chances of contracting high blood pressure.

In addition to this, this program should help the residents of the neighborhood to lead healthy lifestyles by taking measures such as developing fitness plans, lowering their blood cholesterol, lowering body weigh, improving their sleep, relaxing through spiritual nourishment as well as developing hopeful and positive thinking patterns and support (Rowitz, 2009). In due time, all these factors if taken seriously by the residents of the Southside neighborhood, then hypertension and other diseases can be an issue of the past. Additionally, this program should adapt the four steps to better health.

The first step will be to record the health data. Secondly, with the aid of any health educator is to set goals in each area of the neighborhood. The third step should be to start to make some needed changes and create less-stress health seminars that will offer advice to the neighborhood on how best to combat or prevent hypertension. The fourth step would be to repeat the health record after every three and seven weeks in order to efficiently serve the neighborhood with the necessary advice regarding how to live or prevent hypertension (Weir, 2006).

Furthermore, this program should hold campaign against unhealthy behaviors such as lack of physical activity, poor diet and tobacco use as they are risk factors for getting high blood pressure. In addition to this, obesity and overweight are risk factors for hypertension and this program needs to cater to the young people in the Southside neighborhood as some of them are already obese and this can lead to hypertension or other serious illnesses. Lately in the Southside neighborhood, private and public programs are being designed to promote healthy behavior among the youth.

In addition to this, employers are becoming more aware that obesity and being overweight as well as smoking as these habits are affecting the productivity and health of their employees and in the end, this affects the businesses. The result of this is that innovative employers are providing their workers with a range of work-site –based health promotion and programs that prevent diseases such as hypertension. In the long run, these programs will improve the health of the workers as well as increase their productivity and capitulate a noteworthy return on investment for the employers (Pinger, 2008).


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