Historical Trends of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease within the Cobb Collection

Janet Mansaray 1,2

  1. W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, Howard University
  2. Department of Biology, Howard University

Hypertension is a current health issue that greatly affects the African American community. It is linked to the cause of cardiovascular conditions such as rheumatic heart disease, arteriosclerotic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), and inflammatory heart disease (carditis). To investigate the progression of such conditions in African Americans and their evolution of treatment, we will analyze these clinical manifestations within the Cobb Collection. In the database, the number of cause of deaths for each condition found is as follows: rhuemeric-2, hypertensive-11, arteriosclerotic-23, CVA-17, inflammatory-11, general cardiovascular diease-8, and those with a condition called myocarditis-6. This is a total of 78 individuals revealing that hypertension and its related cardiovascular conditions was a problem for African Americans, as it today. 5 individuals out of the 78 were chosen for case studies and their biological histories were reconstructed. This information was then compared to modern profiles of African Americans in order to observe whether modern treatments have affected the life expectancy within people who suffer from cardiac disease. The main purpose of this study was to provide a historical prospective on cardiovascular conditions caused by hypertension in hopes of seeing why such conditions are still prevalent in African Americans.

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