According to a new study done by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), growing up in a single-parent household can lead to high blood pressure later in life for black men. Between 2001 and 2008, researchers used a sample size of 515 black students at Howard University and analyzed their blood pressure rates and incidents of hypertension.According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, those participants who grew up in single-parent households were more likely to suffer from high blood pressure compared to participants who were raised in two-parent households, regardless of whether the parent was a mother or father.
“Being raised by a single parent really puts kids at a disadvantage in terms of resources that would be available to them,” said Charles Rotimi, co-author of the study, in a press release. “Our study is not an indictment of single-parent homes. Single parents, however, may struggle more to keep things together, and this may be impacting children in ways that later manifest as adult onset diseases.”
The researchers stated that socioeconomics play a huge role in the explanations of their findings. Compared to two-parent households, children in single parent households often live in poverty. “The findings reported in the current study may be explained by these unmeasured childhood socioeconomic factors,” said Debbie Barrington, Ph.D., the lead author and an NIMHD senior research fellow.