- Publish Date: 08-03-2019 / 3:58 AM
- Category : Health & Wellness
Heart disease and African American, reasons why African Americans are more likely to have heart disease. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, it was found that African Americans are at a higher risk of heart failure than other races.
But the burning question, though, is, what type of heart disease? It is not congenital heart disease since it is a birth defect-related disease, or could it? The apparent answer probably should be coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease, which are pretty much the same, in a sense. We will explore more in the text.
Furthermore, the researchers also found that before they reach 50 years old, African-Americans’ heart failure rate is 20 times higher than whites. Here are five reasons behind this heart disease and heart attack phenomenon.
Before we go into details about heart disease causes among African Americans, let us briefly talk about different types of common heart diseases people often acquire.
Congenital heart disease, as we briefly touched on early, is a childhood type of heart disease. It is a common congenital disability type of heart disease. The word “congenital” means that the heart disease condition is already present from birth. Unfortunately, this heart disease affects between 8 to 10 children out of every 1000 children born worldwide.
Coronary heart disease and ischemic heart disease are pretty much the same things. Both are conditions caused by narrowed arteries that prevent oxygen and blood from reaching the heart muscles.
When the heart’s arteries cannot deliver enough oxygen or blood to the heart, you have coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease—which is heart disease causes attributable to diet and lifestyle conditions.
1. Less Access to Healthcare
With less access to healthcare, one could argue that congenital heart disease could result from parents who lack medical attention and access to healthcare, resulting in having babies with congenital heart disease issues. Ischemic heart disease or coronary heart disease could, without a doubt, be acquired due to lack of healthcare access and other lifestyle-related concerns.
According to Anne L. Taylor, MD—a professor of Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Taylor, who is also the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs—suggested that African Americans have less access to healthcare, making it challenging to treat risk factors associated with heart disease successfully. This notwithstanding the fact that African Americans are less likely to consult with their physician to get routine check-ups.
They are also less likely to be referred to specialist doctors; this is just one study among a few heart disease studies relating to African Americans. The later part of this study is troubling in that heart disease causes among African Americans, in this case, could be due to racism.
Also, a clinical professor in Emory University’s Cardiology division and Chief Science Officer of the Association of Black Cardiologists Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, pointed out that African Americans tend to view diseases as the main reason to seek healthcare. In other words, they do not go to the doctor for prevention but rather consult with their physician when they are already sick.
2. High Blood Pressure
The prevalence of hypertension in African Americans is the highest in the whole world. High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart diseases and even brings permanent damage to one’s heart even before symptoms become evident.
According to research, African Americans may carry a gene that makes them more sensitive to salt, increasing their high blood pressure susceptibility. Indeed, this should be a part of heart disease awareness classes that everybody must be aware of regardless of race. According to this study, heart disease causes emanating from high blood pressure could be genetic to African Americans.
3. Obesity – A leading cause of coronary heart disease
Another risk factor is obesity, to which African Americans are disproportionately affected. In fact, among non-Hispanic blacks 20 years old and above, 63 percent of males and 77 percent of women are obese. Obesity, without a doubt, contributes to heart disease and heart attacks in all races.
Heart disease causes due to obesity affects all races. However, African Americans and those of other races who are obese are more likely to acquire heart problems. One can classify obesity-related heart diseases as the leading causes of coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease.
Another heart disease awareness study should center on diabetes regardless of race. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans tend to be more vulnerable to diabetes, which is another critical risk factor for heart disease. While diabetes can be easily prevented, many do not spot the early warning signs or seek treatment because of their fear of complications.
For diabetes and heart disease itself, regular exercise can play a significant role in burning excess calories and improving cardiovascular health. Even a half-hour walk per day is enough to keep diabetes at bay—diabetes, one heart disease causes that can be prevented with physical activities.
5. Inactivity – can lead to ischemic heart disease
According to the American Heart Association, 39.4 percent of African Americans are likely to be inactive. An active lifestyle can regulate a person’s blood pressure the same way anti-hypertensive medications can do to your body and increases good cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it was found that it can reduce the heart disease risk by 30 to 40 percent.
Conclusion on heart disease and African American, plus heart disease causes
These are just some of the reasons why African Americans are more susceptible to heart disease. However, it is also important to remember that regardless of your race, you too can be at risk to this silent killer—especially when it comes to your children being born with congenital heart disease.
With this, it is necessary to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain an active lifestyle to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. An unhealthy cardiovascular system can lead to coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease.
I hope that this article on heart disease and African Americans helped you learn the dangers of heart disease and how to prevent it no matter your race or ethnicity. Plus, you now have some ideas of the possible heart disease causes to watch out for.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to you! And those are reasons why African Americans are more likely to acquire coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease than any other race.