I began my professional career as a disease intervention specialist with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Miami, Fl investigating syphilis and HIV infections. In 1990, I left the CDC and moved back to Texas and went to pharmacy school at Texas Southern University and graduated in 1993. At some point after working for the CDC, I read the book Bad Blood about the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment. It is not a myth that many times minorities, the uninsured and the indigent receive substandard healthcare. Studies like the Tuskegee experiment make it exceedingly difficult for people that fall in one of those categories to trust our healthcare system. Honestly, many educated and affluent people have concerns about our healthcare system. Fast-forward to the Covid-19 Pandemic and that is exactly what we were asking people to do, trust our healthcare system. Vaccine development historically has taken 10-15 years, but now we had a vaccine developed in about a year for a virus that we had never had to deal with, and it is a completely new technology that most people had...

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High blood pressure, also called hypertension, refers to blood pushing against the walls of the arteries with chronically elevated force. Blood pressure that rises above normal levels and remains high can lead to serious health problems including heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure as well as other health problems. High blood pressure is defined by stages:

  1. Healthy - blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg
  2. Elevated - systolic pressure between 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mm Hg
  3. Stage 1 Hypertension - systolic pressure 130-139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure between 80-89 mm Hg
  4. Stage 2 Hypertension - systolic pressure 140 mm Hg or higher or diastolic pressure 90mm Hg or higher
  5. Hypertensive Crisis - systolic pressure greater than 180 mm Hg or diastolic pressure over 120mm Hg. This is a medical emergency.

In blood pressure measurement the top number, known as the systolic...