Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Closing the Gap on Cardiovascular Disease among African Americans

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Closing the Gap on Cardiovascular Disease among African Americans

By Andrew K. Sanderson II, MD, MPH, FASGE, HHS OMH Medical Officer  
Dr Sanderson
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading killer in the United States, and African Americans are excessively burdened by poor cardiovascular health.[i] [ii] [iii] Adding to this burden are barriers to high-quality and timely health care. As a result, CVD is often diagnosed too late, leading to a disproportionate number of African Americans suffering and dying from heart disease every year, compared to non-Hispanic whites. In addition, African Americans often live in communities where they lack access to affordable, healthy foods or safe places to be physically active. These challenges contribute to diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity—all of which are risk factors for CVD.
We can reduce deaths and hospitalizations for CVD by better understanding the causes of heart disease, making necessary lifestyle changes, getting preventive heart screenings, and knowing what treatment resources are available.
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