Globally, black adults have among the highest rates of hypertension, with an increasing prevalence. Although white adults also have an increasing incidence of high BP, they develop this condition later in life than black adults and have much lower average BPs. In fact, compared to hypertensive white persons, hypertensive black individuals have a 1.3-fold higher rate of nonfatal stroke, a 1.8-fold higher rate of fatal stroke, a 1.5-fold higher mortality rate due to heart disease, and a 4.2-fold higher rate of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). [38]
Consistently high levels of insulin are associated with many harmful changes in the body prior to its manifesting as disease including chronic inflammation and damage to arterial walls, decreased excretion of salt by the kidneys, and thickening of the blood. People with metabolic disease also exhibit elevations in blood pressure and changes in their blood lipids, primarily with triglycerides (elevated) and good cholesterol or high density lipoprotein (HDL) (reduced). Problems associated with metabolic syndrome develop over time and usually worsen if left untreated.
Emerging data suggest an important correlation between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke. [58] Each of the components of metabolic syndrome has been associated with elevated stroke risk, and evidence demonstrates a relationship between the collective metabolic syndrome and risk of ischemic stroke. [59] Metabolic syndrome may also be linked to neuropathy beyond hyperglycemic mechanisms through inflammatory mediators. [60]