PMID: 1230437Jan 1, 1975Paper

Hypertension as a disease of modern society

International Journal of Health Services : Planning, Administration, Evaluation
J Eyer

Abstract

About 50 per cent of people in modern societies have blood pressure sufficiently elevated to result in increased mortality. This proportion is much smaller in undisrupted societies of hunter-gatherers. In most cases the elevated blood pressure in modern societies is associated with physiological changes characteristic of chronic stress. The difference between blood pressure in modern populations and that in undisrupted hunter-gatherer societies cannot be accounted for by genetic differences or differences in salt consumption. Two primary features of modern society which contribute to the elevation of blood pressure are community disruption and increased work pressure. Drug therapy and relaxation therapies for hypertension attempt to counteract the physiological effects of social stress. However, it is more appropriate to use the occurrence of hypertension as an indicator of fundamental social problems which need to be solved.

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