(Reuters Health) – People living in communities with rising crime rates may be more likely than those in safer neighborhoods to develop high blood pressure, reflecting a new study.
High-risk areas have long lived with higher rates of heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, and researchers noted in the American Journal of Hypertension. However, there is no clear indication of what happens when crime rates change over time with studies to date.
“Our study shows that for the first time, violent crime rates are increasing with increasing patient blood pressure and the use of healthcare systems over time,” said Dr. Corey Tabit, a cardiology researcher at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study.
The researchers tracked changes in blood pressure for 17,783 adults living in Chicago from 2014 to 2016, a period where crime in some communities grew. They also calculated violent crime rates in all communities by looking at the number of incidents per year for every 1,000 people in a census corridor.
At the start of the study, each of the census areas had at least 41.3 violent crime rates per 1,000 residents. During the three-year study period, crime rates rose in some places as many as 59.1 incidents per year per 1,000 people and fell by 31.1 per 1,000 elsewhere in the city.
Overall, each increase of 20 incidents / 1,000 in violent crime rates in the city was associated with 3% higher blood pressure raised over 140/90 mmHg, which is just above the range considered healthy. All 20 unit increases were also linked to a further 6% of hospital admission claims for cardiovascular problems.
“It is interesting to note that a greater increase in blood pressure was observed in people living in areas with less crime than people living in high corruption areas,” said Tabit via email. “This result could suggest that people with high exposure to crime may become accustomed to the conditions in their neighborhood that could be subtracted from the negative effects of further increases in crime. .
In communities where violent crime was increasing during the study period, the violent crime rate increased by 20 units involving 8% lower blood pressure.
But in safer neighborhoods, there was a 20-unit increase in violent crime rates across the city involving 5% higher elevated blood pressure.
The study was not designed to determine the impact of changes in crime rates on blood pressure. And researchers did not examine crime exposure at an individual level to see whether violence had a different effect on blood pressure than simply living in a crime or low crime area.
“It is not yet known whether the increased risk faced by people living in high crime communities can be medically or behaviorally mitigated,” said Tabit.
But everyone should be encouraged to spend a healthy lifestyle by making things like smoke and doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, Tabit suggested.
“Equally, eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and vegetables is a good way of maintaining heart health for most people, although individual dietary needs are also different and should be used; patients discuss their unique needs with their doctors, ”said Tabit.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2kEe8n7 American Journal of Hypertension, online August 15, 2019.
. ) Clinical Medicine (t) Economic Indicators (t) Crime (t) Public Health (t) Cardio (t) Healthcare (T) Healthcare (TRBC) (t) USA