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Blacks Twice as Likely to…

By on December 17, 2012

Despite progress over the past several decades, diseases of the heart remain the leading cause of death for American men and women, and coronary heart disease (CHD) accounts for the largest share of these deaths. Researchers say Blacks have double whites’ risk of dying of coronary heart disease —  narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Monika Safford of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said the study  involved more than 24,000 people nationwide who were tracked for an average of  four years.

“High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol — these are the things that  have very longstanding reputation for being associated with heart attack,”  Safford said in a statement. “And the overall risk burden in blacks is quite a  bit higher than it is in whites.”

The study participants resided in the continental United States and were  enrolled between 2003 and 2007 with follow-up through December 2009. Blacks and  whites had a similar average age, but smoking, diabetes, and reduced estimated  glomerular filtration rate — a measure of kidney function — were more  prevalent, and systolic blood pressure and body mass index were higher among  blacks than whites, Safford said.

Women had lower incidence rates than men within each racial group. However,  black women had higher incidence rates for total coronary heart disease, for  fatal coronary heart disease, and for non-fatal coronary heart disease, compared  to white women. In addition, the increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease  among blacks was associated with a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease  risk factors.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical  Association.


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