Study Involving Local Black Community Links Racial Disparity With High Blood Pressure

Dec 22, 2016

Credit HEAT Facebook page

A group of researchers has just completed a local community-based study on how the racial disparity can affect a person’s health. Researchers compared how racial discrimination among Tallahassee’s African Americans can increase the risk for high blood pressure.

Can social conditions affect the health of another? Dr. Qasimah Boston seems to thinks so.

“You know, when people come here from other counties, they have good health,” she said. “But, as they’re here for a period of time, their health seems to change.”

Boston says hypertension, a leading factor for heart disease, affects more black people than any other group.

As a member of the Health Equity Alliance of Tallahassee, or HEAT—already looking into the social determinants of health—Boston says Tallahassee African Americans were a natural fit for a more focused study.

She has two takeaways.

“First, the idea of looking at racism in a different kind of way, and looking at that experience of racism and how it’s associated with a health condition as hypertension and further, also, looking at the way we’re doing these research projects and making sure we’re engaging the communities we’re working with and the processes,” she added.

Boston says since the study was deemed a community-based participatory study, partakers also helped drive the study by taking on a researcher role—learning to both collect and analyze years of data.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.