Research shows that low-income black women with high blood pressure show signs of depression

Key points

  • A new study shows that black women with lower incomes and high blood pressure may be more likely to struggle with depression.
  • Several factors contribute to these correlations, and more comprehensive care is needed to resolve these issues.

There have been many studies that have solved the prevalence of chronic diseases in the black community. Other studies have examined the incidence of mental health complications in communities of color, such as depression and anxiety.A recently published study American Medical Association Psychiatry It aims to focus on how the two intersect.

A secondary analysis of a clinical trial in the Washington, DC prime time sister circle intervention found that socioeconomic status (SES) and heart health may be associated with depression in middle-aged black women.

What does the research show?

The study focused on 316 black women aged 40-75 who were diagnosed with high blood pressure. For the purposes of this study, hypertension is defined as ~140 mmHg systolic blood pressure or ~90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure.

The results of this study indicate that 57% of black women with low SES and high blood pressure also suffer from depression. Women with higher levels of depressive symptoms are less likely to receive higher education, and are more likely to smoke and suffer from other chronic diseases.

Krystal Jagoo MSW/RSW

Find [like this study] Emphasize why we need to take a cross-cut approach to combat oppression, because we know that African-American families often continue to live in the food desert because they survive the long-term effects of the red line, which ensures the ever-widening racialized gap between rich and poor in the United States

— Krystal Jagoo MSW/RSW

Racial differences

In order to assess the causes of racial differences in these correlations, the impact of economic insecurity and discrimination-based trauma on personal health must be considered.

Studies have shown that trauma has a very obvious connection with physical symptoms, including the prevalence of chronic diseases. Data supports discrimination as trauma in marginalized communities, regardless of whether it is chronic or not.

MSW/RSW’s Krystal Jagoo said: “This study is just to confirm what the most oppressed people may already know from life experience, namely poverty, white supremacy, sexism, etc. The results of this study are in line with other studies. Consistently, these studies show how the chronic stress of oppression disproportionately harms BIPOC personnel.”

In the case of repeated trauma and the individual is forced to live in a state of hypervigilance, the chance of chronic disease increases due to the high level of cortisol throughout the body for a period of time.

In terms of economic impact, the concept of food desert highlights the stratified availability of fresh and healthy food choices in urban and rural areas. Jagoo said, “Discover [like this study] Emphasize why we need to take a cross-cut approach to combat oppression, because we know that African-American families often continue to live in the food desert because they survive the long-term effects of the red line, which ensures the ever-increasing racialized gap between rich and poor in the United States.”

In addition, due to the constant changes in the job market, it is extremely difficult for individuals with lower education levels to obtain living wage jobs. This difficulty leads to either a lack of health insurance, difficulties in attending appointments due to transportation or childcare services, or pressure to pay premiums, co-payments, deductibles, or medications. All these factors contribute to the difficult diagnosis and poor management of hypertension in the black community, including:

  • Substandard insurance coverage
  • Difficulty in accessing healthcare
  • Lower medication compliance rate
  • Potential differences in disease process
  • Differences in blood pressure control

A more comprehensive approach

The importance of these data is twofold. First, doctors must be aware of the psychological risks associated with physical conditions such as high blood pressure, and make recommendations for mental health services when appropriate.

On the contrary, mental health practitioners must thoroughly understand the individual’s health history and primary care situation in order to better treat the whole person. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause serious problems, such as:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • heart failure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Weakened blood vessels in the kidneys
  • Vision problems

What this means to you

For black women with high blood pressure or depression, these findings support the adequate management of all these problems and advocate for the importance you need. If you need help with medical insurance or nursing care, there are multiple options (state-based and other methods) to help you get the services you need.

All aspects of your health must be addressed, not ignored, because the correlation between physical and mental health can have a lasting impact on your overall health.

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