High blood pressure – or “hypertension” – affects about one third of adults in the U.S. However, less than half of Americans with hypertension have it under control, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. High blood pressure / hypertension sufferers are at risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and death.
There are many causes of hypertension. Among them are stress, lack of physical activity and being overweight or obese. A vast majority of Americans actually say their jobs are a significant source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association. Job-related stress can itself lead to a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity – all risk factors for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and other threats to the worker’s health.
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and believe it is related to your work environment or job activities, call the North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Hardison & Cochran. We know the common arguments that defendants and their attorneys use to avoid paying the money hypertension sufferers are entitled to for their work-related disability, and we are equipped to gather and persuasively present the evidence necessary to prove your case.
Call us today at (800) 434-8399 or complete our online form for a free review of your case. We serve clients throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Fayetteville.
What is High Blood Pressure / Hypertension?
The Mayo Clinic defines high blood pressure as “a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems such as heart disease.” The medical term for high blood pressure is “hypertension.”
The problem with hypertension is that in most cases it has no symptoms unless the patient suffers from a severe and dangerous form of high blood pressure called “malignant hypertension.” Usually, hypertension is diagnosed in a routine medical exam.
“Secondary hypertension” is caused by an underlying condition such as:
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Congenital defects in blood vessels
- Certain medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
But in most cases, “essential” or “primary” hypertension develops gradually over several years. Age, family history (genetics) and race (hypertension is more common among African-Americans) are factors beyond our control that contribute to hypertension.
Other factors that contribute to high blood pressure include:
- Being overweight or obese (causing a higher volume of blood to be circulated and blood pressure to rise)
- Lack of physical activity (increasing the heart rate)
- Poor diet (including too much salt, which causes water retention and high blood pressure, and too little potassium, which the body uses to help balance the amount of sodium in the blood)
- Stress (causing temporary but dramatic increases in blood pressure).
Also, some people seek to relieve stress by eating more, smoking or drinking alcohol, but each of these can contribute to high blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic says.
Job-Related Stress and Health Problems
The old refrain of “this job is killing me” is a well-known one. A nationwide poll by the American Psychological Association found that, in fact, 75 percent of Americans listed work as a significant source of stress. The APA also says that prolonged job-related stress can drastically affect your physical health.
“Constant preoccupation with job responsibilities often leads to erratic eating habits and not enough exercise, resulting in weight problems, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels,” the world’s largest professional association of psychologists says.
“Common job stressors such as perceived low rewards, a hostile work environment and long hours can also accelerate the onset of heart disease, including the likelihood of heart attacks,” the APA continues. “This is particularly true for blue-collar and manual workers. Studies suggest that because these employees tend to have little control over their work environments, they are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those in traditional ‘white collar’ jobs.”
The Challenges of a North Carolina High Blood Pressure / Hypertension Claim
Linking your hypertension to your job duties or workplace may be a challenge, but it is well understood that job-related stress, poor diet and obesity contribute to high blood pressure. The pressure of many jobs results in high levels of stress among workers. Other occupations, such as those that require travel or long hours at a desk, lead to a lifestyle marked by a lack of physical activity and poor eating habits.
A North Carolina workplace injury attorney experienced with the state’s workers’ compensation system and clients who suffer from hypertension will know how to document and demonstrate the causal connection between your work environment and/or job-related activities and how high blood pressure caused your disability.
Our Raleigh High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Lawyers Are Ready To Help
Hardison & Cochran has handled many injury and workers’ compensation cases in North Carolina in which the injured person suffers from high blood pressure, or hypertension. If you or a loved one needs a lawyer to assist with your workers’ compensation claim, make sure your attorney is experienced in successfully pursuing North Carolina workers’ compensation claims for clients who suffer from hypertension. Contact Hardison & Cochran today online or by calling us at (800) 434-8399. We respond to all inquiries within 24 hours, and our initial case reviews are free.