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09 Mar 2010, 23:01
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Black Americans are, on the whole, about twice as likely as White Americans to develop high blood pressure. This likelihood also holds for westernized Black Africans when compared to White Africans.
Researchers have hypothesized that this predisposition in westernized Blacks may reflect an interaction between western high-salt diets and genes that adapted to an environmental scarcity of salt.
Which of the following statements about present-day, westernized Black Africans, if true, would most tend to confirm the researchers’ hypothesis?
(A) The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low.
(B) The unusually high salt consumption in certain areas of Africa represents a serious health problem.
(C) Because of their blood pressure levels, most White Africans have markedly decreased their salt consumption.
(D) Blood pressures are low among the Yoruba, who, throughout their history, have been situated far inland from sources of sea salt and far south of Saharan salt mines.
(E) No significant differences in salt metabolism have been found between those people who have had salt available throughout their history and those who have not.

High Blood Pressure -- > high Concentrations of Salt
genes that adapted to an environmental scarcity of salt implies that because of low concentrations of salt their blood pressure was low.

My question is:
1. Option A shows, that salt was available. Also BP of the people from here is Low. How does that imply that when some people moved to America and took high salt diets, their BP rose?
2. Why option A is better than option D?
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2010, 12:32
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2010, 21:10
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Hey All,

Vann did a great job with the explanation here, but I'm always going to be the guy that swoops in after the fact and tries to put it all into the model. Remember, being able to explain the particular details of a given question is great, but even better is putting that question in context with other questions of the same type and an overall technique. To that end:

Conclusion: Predisposition to HBP reflects Western high-salt diets and genes adapted to scarcity of salt
Premise: Black Americans twice as likely to get HBP as White Americans. Westernized Black Africans twice as likely to get HBP as White Africans.
Assumption: ???

Strengthen and Weaken questions often relate to assumptions, but more likely when the question asks you to strengthen or weaken the ARGUMENT itself. In this case, we're asked to strengthen the hypothesis (i.e. conclusion), which means we're likely to bring in new information, so it's unlikely we'll be able to predict the assumption...

(A) The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low.
ANSWER: This gives NEW INFORMATION that matches up with the hypothesis (not much salt, no blood pressure problems).

(B) The unusually high salt consumption in certain areas of Africa represents a serious health problem.
PROBLEM: This neither strengthens nor weakens. We want a connection between blood pressure and salt.

(C) Because of their blood pressure levels, most White Africans have markedly decreased their salt consumption.
PROBLEM: This is tricky. Even though it connects blood pressure and salt, it does it in the wrong way. We want to see salt AFFECTING blood pressure. But here we're only told that these people have decreased their salt consumption because of their blood pressure. Has it worked? We don't know.

(D) Blood pressures are low among the Yoruba, who, throughout their history, have been situated far inland from sources of sea salt and far south of Saharan salt mines.
PROBLEM: This is less tricky than it looks. This just says a tribe without salt doesn't have high blood pressure. This would strengthen the conclusion that salt causes high blood pressure. But we already know that. We want to know if there's a genetic link that causes those with a history of low-salt diets to develop high blood pressure when moved to the West. This doesn't address the West at all.

(E) No significant differences in salt metabolism have been found between those people who have had salt available throughout their history and those who have not.
PROBLEM: You could argue this has no effect (what do we care about salt metabolism?) or weakens, because it's breaking the link between history and blood pressure that the conclusion wants to make.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2010, 12:24
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erererererr
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2010, 05:40
Come again, Troy
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2010, 21:27

This question is frustrating me to no end...and I STILL do not understand why (A) strengthens the conclusion!

I narrowed down my options to (A) and (D), and ended up going with (D).

Is the correct answer (A) because the people from Gambia and Senegal had genes that adapted to salt levels (i.e., high salt levels --> genes adapted to handle this --> low BP), and therefore genes of Black people from areas lacking in salt adapted too (i.e., low salt levels --> genes adapted to handle this --> + Westernized diet --> 2x likelihood of developing high BP)?

What's the official source of the question?
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2010, 00:52
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

Vann did a great job with the explanation here, but I'm always going to be the guy that swoops in after the fact and tries to put it all into the model. Remember, being able to explain the particular details of a given question is great, but even better is putting that question in context with other questions of the same type and an overall technique. To that end:

Conclusion: Predisposition to HBP reflects Western high-salt diets and genes adapted to scarcity of salt
Premise: Black Americans twice as likely to get HBP as White Americans. Westernized Black Africans twice as likely to get HBP as White Africans.
Assumption: ???

Strengthen and Weaken questions often relate to assumptions, but more likely when the question asks you to strengthen or weaken the ARGUMENT itself. In this case, we're asked to strengthen the hypothesis (i.e. conclusion), which means we're likely to bring in new information, so it's unlikely we'll be able to predict the assumption...

(A) The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low.
ANSWER: This gives NEW INFORMATION that matches up with the hypothesis (not much salt, no blood pressure problems).

(B) The unusually high salt consumption in certain areas of Africa represents a serious health problem.
PROBLEM: This neither strengthens nor weakens. We want a connection between blood pressure and salt.

(C) Because of their blood pressure levels, most White Africans have markedly decreased their salt consumption.
PROBLEM: This is tricky. Even though it connects blood pressure and salt, it does it in the wrong way. We want to see salt AFFECTING blood pressure. But here we're only told that these people have decreased their salt consumption because of their blood pressure. Has it worked? We don't know.
Tarun - This is not tricky at all. The question stem is relevant to westernized black africans but this answer refers to white africans. An active reader would reject this answer immediately.

(D) Blood pressures are low among the Yoruba, who, throughout their history, have been situated far inland from sources of sea salt and far south of Saharan salt mines.
PROBLEM: This is less tricky than it looks. This just says a tribe without salt doesn't have high blood pressure. This would strengthen the conclusion that salt causes high blood pressure. But we already know that. We want to know if there's a genetic link that causes those with a history of low-salt diets to develop high blood pressure when moved to the West. This doesn't address the West at all.

(E) No significant differences in salt metabolism have been found between those people who have had salt available throughout their history and those who have not.
PROBLEM: You could argue this has no effect (what do we care about salt metabolism?) or weakens, because it's breaking the link between history and blood pressure that the conclusion wants to make.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2010, 06:40
i also end up with A and D AND finally decided to go with A

agreed with TommyWallach that option does not say anything about west. Whether the tribe or any member moved to west
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2010, 07:01
Agreed that evidence of predisposition provides the key linkage and only A mentions it.
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2010, 09:06
A, good question.

Not B, because it goes a little bit out of scope. I mean the issue is high blood pressure, which is not always a health hazard.
Not C, because it states a fact likely after all the discussion here
Not D, because Yoruba could still be feasting on imported salty food from Timbaktu
Not E, I ruled it out in the end because it needed expertise on 'salt metabolism.'
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2010, 14:04
Please explain the option A again....with POE A is fine, but I want to understand A option.
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2010, 14:16
Would you mind pointing out what's unclear in either my or Tommy's explanation? I'm not trying to be smart. I just don't want to waste energy typing the things you already get and still miss the disconnect.
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2010, 14:41
I m not able to understand how A is supporting the conclusion. It will be great if you could explain again in a simple and elaborated way.
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2010, 14:54
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Sure. I'll try again. I've seperated this into two parts. Let me know which part you don't get.

1st part: "Researchers have hypothesized that this predisposition in westernized Blacks may reflect an interaction between western high-salt diets and genes that adapted to an environmental scarcity of salt." This is saying that researchers believe that westernized blacks have high blood pressure because their ancestors adapted to low sodium diets. This adaptation & the tons of salt in a western diet are what these researchers say causes high blood pressure.

2nd part:
"(A) The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low."
Rember that high blood pressure is caused by high salt diet + genetic adaptation to LOW salt environments. Those in Senegal and Gambia are in a place where there is PLENTY of salt and they don't have high blood pressure. This suggests that the researchers are right because those from Gambia and Senagal have had generations to adapt their genes to this kind of diet, unlike other africans.
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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02 May 2010, 16:18
vannbj wrote:
Sure. I'll try again. I've seperated this into two parts. Let me know which part you don't get.

1st part: "Researchers have hypothesized that this predisposition in westernized Blacks may reflect an interaction between western high-salt diets and genes that adapted to an environmental scarcity of salt." This is saying that researchers believe that westernized blacks have high blood pressure because their ancestors adapted to low sodium diets. This adaptation & the tons of salt in a western diet are what these researchers say causes high blood pressure.

2nd part:
"(A) The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low."
Rember that high blood pressure is caused by high salt diet + genetic adaptation to LOW salt environments. Those in Senegal and Gambia are in a place where there is PLENTY of salt and they don't have high blood pressure. This suggests that the researchers are right because those from Gambia and Senagal have had generations to adapt their genes to this kind of diet, unlike other africans.

Thanks I got it now, it seems quite easier after your explanation. We should read closely!!
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Re: Black Americans -- BP [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2011, 09:58
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11 Jan 2014, 07:19
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Re: Sorry to open a new thread for an existing topic: [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2014, 20:55
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I got the point addressed in this question

P1: hypothesized that this predisposition in westernized Blacks may reflect an interaction between western high-salt diets and genes that adapted to an environmental scarcity of salt.

High blood pressure results when genes of people accustomed to low levels of salt suddenly trying to adapt themselves to high levels of salt . This says that westernized blacks have high blood pressure because their ancestors adapted to low sodium diets.

To support this hypohtesis, we need an argument that states either of these two

a) people with abundant sodium -> low bp
b) people with scarcity sodium -> high bp

Option A says that The blood pressures of those descended from peoples situated throughout their history in Senegal and Gambia, where salt was always available, are low.

Hope this helps
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Re: Sorry to open a new thread for an existing topic: [#permalink]

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14 May 2016, 13:39
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Sorry to open a new thread for an existing topic:   [#permalink] 14 May 2016, 13:39
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