Growing up in a single-parent household can lead to high blood pressure later in life for African-American males, according to a new study from the National Institute of Health.
Researchers enlisted 515 African-American males at Howard University and analyzed their blood pressure rates and incidents of hypertension (an extended state of high blood pressure.)
According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, those participants who grew up in single-parent households were more likely to suffer from high blood pressure compared to participants who were raised in two-parent households.
“Being raised by a single parent really puts kids at a disadvantage in terms of resources that would be available to them," said Charles Rotimi, co-author of the study, in a press release. “Our study is not an indictment of single-parent homes. Single parents, however, may struggle more to keep things together, and this may be impacting children in ways that later manifest as adult onset diseases.”
Thus, it's socioeconomic factors that may be to blame, though the authors write that more research is needed.
According to the National Institute of Health, 39 percent of African-American males suffer from high blood pressure -- several percentage points higher than the national average, which sits at 33 percent.