Exploring the Synergistic Impact of Racism and COVID-19 Related Stress on Hypertensive Outcomes in Young African Americans

  • Asli McCullers MedStar Health Research Institute
  • Naheed Ahmed MedStar Health Research Institute, Center for Health Equity Research


Hypertension is recognized among public health researchers as a critical concern for the African American community. While many studies and interventions have been initiated to address hypertension among African Americans, very few focus on young African Americans. With the growing number of relatively young African Americans experiencing adverse cardiovascular health outcomes, we recognize a critical need to address this research gap. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present enormous social stressors that have disproportionately impacted young African Americans as a result of existing systemic oppression and structural racism. We present this commentary to begin discussing a potentially emerging pathway that may link the synergistic consequences of racism and COVID-19 pandemic to severe stress, and thus the early onset of hypertension among young African Americans.

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