High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

IU Health provides lifesaving care for hypertension – the silent killer.

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD), a hypertension related disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Indiana ranks 35th as the nation’s least-healthiest states, in large part due to CVD.

Through IU Health’s community engaged approach, we aim to reduce hypertension-related diseases and complications, especially among residents of medically underserved communities across the state of Indiana.

Hypertension is a common but treatable heart condition caused when your blood flows too forcefully against the walls of your blood vessels. Without treatment, hypertension can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

There are a number of factors that can put you at higher risk of hypertension. Some causes and risks include:

  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Kidney damage

Learn more about hypertension – including causes, risks and treatment options – on our High Blood Pressure condition page.

Hypertension-Related Disparities

Racial and ethnic disparities in hypertension can be traced back to differences in awareness, treatment and control, according to the American Heart Association. African Americans are at a 30% higher risk of fatal stroke and experience four times greater hypertension-related mortality compared to white Americans, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is a common but treatable heart condition caused when your blood flows too forcefully against the walls of your blood vessels. Without treatment, hypertension can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

There are a number of factors that can put you at higher risk of hypertension. Some causes and risks include:

  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Kidney damage

Learn more about hypertension – including causes, risks and treatment options – on our High Blood Pressure condition page.

Hypertension-Related Disparities

Racial and ethnic disparities in hypertension can be traced back to differences in awareness, treatment and control, according to the American Heart Association. African Americans are at a 30% higher risk of fatal stroke and experience four times greater hypertension-related mortality compared to white Americans, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

Khadijah K. Breathett, MD, MS - Cardiology

The effects of cardiovascular disease are magnified in communities of color, particularly among Black Hoosiers. Recognizing that health disparities exist and bringing together diverse stakeholders are critical to begin addressing the complexity of these disparities and delivering equitable care.

- Khadijah Breathett, MD, IU Health cardiologist

Indianapolis Health Equity, Access, outReach, and Treatment (iHEART) Collaborative

iHEART aims to reduce health inequalities that contribute to overall heart health. Together with IU Health physicians, our iHEART Community Health workers empower our community through blood pressure management assistance help and connection to local resources.

iHEART is a free service offered as part of our dedication to make Indiana healthier, starting with those in our community. For more information, email chw@iuhealth.org or call 317.963.2013.

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