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Comparing Heart Disease in African Americans

ComparingHeart Disease in African Americans

ComparingHeart Disease in African Americas

Heartdisease is a serious health challenge in the global domain, posingserious health problem to the young and old, and male and femalepopulations of humans. It is a number one killer in the UnitedStates, particularly among the African Americans. However, a majorityof individuals are oblivious of the fact that they are at risk ofheart diseases, as most African Americans hold the notion that heartattack occurs abruptly as a result of a scary experience, sad news,or even strong feelings such as anger (Mozaffarianetal.,2015).Heart disease might seem sudden, but the fact is that developsgradually over many years, and may derive its onset from childhood.The paper focuses on the three leading causes of heart disease amongthe African Americans namely: hypertension, obesity, and strokes.


Specifically,heart disease is ranked as the principal reason for mortality amongthe African Americans, claiming lives of at least a third of morethan 292,000 of the Back Americans annually (Mozaffarianetal.,2015).Therefore, disproportionate rates of heart disease are high among theAfrican American population as they reflect a greater burden relatedto myocardial infarction, failure of the heart, incidences of stroke,and several instances of cardiovascular constraints. According toMozaffarian(2015),the United States’ Black Africans have a higher risk of heartdisease than whites, for instance, African-American women and menhave 49% and 44% higher heart disease prevalence respectively incomparison to the white males’ 37% and white females’ 32%.Mozaffarian (2015) added that African-American men and women between45 and 64 years have 70% and 50% higher risks respectively, ofdeveloping heart problems than any other American ethnicity. Amongthe common causes of heart disease for the within the populace ofAfrican American are, high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke.

HighBlood Pressure

Hypertensionincreases the chances of an individual of getting heart diseasebesides causing lasting damage to the heart before one can detect anysigns and symptoms. According to Mann(2014),African Americans show higher rising occurrence rate of hypertension,particularly in women. Moreover, they develop hypertension at tenderages, with their average blood pressure numbers much higher than thewhites. For instance, African Americans have 1.3 times highernon-fatal stroke occurrence incidences, 1.8 times higher prevalenceregarding fatal stroke, 1.5 times increased occurrence incidence ofmortality caused by heart diseases when compared to Americans (Mannetal.,2014).Additionally, African Americans contain a gene that exposes them tosalt sensitivity hence raising the risks of hypertension (Mozaffarianetal.,2015).

Mann(2014) outlinedthat the disparities in exposure to the environment and habits amongAfrican Americans account for the differential prevalence ofhypertension, for example, dietary habits, socioeconomic status,stress, health behaviors, and social networks. Mann (2014) added thatapproximately 42% of the African Americans are not in a position toafford a balanced diet. Similarly, despite significant preference byAfrican Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, over 75% listedsome difficulty while buying fruits and vegetables in restaurants,thus, they could not eat enough fruits and vegetables (Mannetal.,2014).According to Cruickshank(2013),future research need to assess further relationship ofgene-environment interactions, job-related stress, and racism besidesadditional psychological factors to ethnic differences in theprevalence of high blood pressure.


Accordingto Cruickshank(2013), 13% of all African Americans are reported to have poor orfair health practices. Therefore, obesity rate is higher among theAfrican Americans than the whites across the country, for instance,approximately 37% of men and 50% of women are overweight. Similarly,greater percentage of African Americans, almost 48% reported, do notparticipate in physical exercises as recommended by medical doctorsi.e. they forego the specification to engage in approximately 30minutes of physical activity or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise aday. Furthermore, others did not take part in any leisure timephysical activities completely over the past two months, and thatcontributed to the increase in body weight (Mozaffarianetal.,2015). Consequently, further study indicated aldosterone correlatedsignificantly with the heart disease risks factors associated withobesity-related high blood pressure among African Americans.Unfortunately, despite African Americans having more risks to thefactors, they are less likely to get adequate treatment or get enoughcontrol of the risk factors, both in obesity and hypertension (Mannetal.,2014).


Therate at which African Americans are diagnosed with diabetes andstroke is very high, that is, African Americans are 77% more likelyto be diagnosed with diabetes and stroke than the whites. However,the many people do not detect early signs, or ignore seekingtreatment out of fear of complications, and that culminates incomplications associated with heart diseases (Mannetal.,2014).Subsequently, Asthma prevalence remains higher among the AfricanAmericans, with roughly 260% higher visits to emergency departmentobserved, 250% higher incidences of hospitalization, and 500% higherrate of mortality due to asthma in comparison to the white people orother ethnic blacks (Cruickshanketal.,2013). Furthermore, African Americans encounter the highest strokeincidences with more severity and higher morbidity, resulting inhigher mortality among the United States’ citizens. Similarly, theyare always younger when attacked by the first stroke, with theincidence remaining unchanged among African Americas, even thoughreducing among the whites. Particularly, the yearly incidence ofinitial heart attack and foremost stroke is greater for BlackAfricans in comparison to the white Americans (Mannetal.,2014).Additionally, blacks are always exposed to independent risk factorsassociated with stroke, e.g. peripheral vascular disease, higherC-reactive protein, and inactivity.

Accordingto Mann(2014),despite African Americans knowing their hypertension status, theywere unlikely to receive adequate treatment from health practitionersto have the disease under control. Therefore, it might significantlylead to increased incidences of stroke among the population, leadingto heart failures and any other cardiovascular complications(Cruickshanketal.,2013). Mozaffarian (2015) outlined that African Americans are morelikely to encounter functional impairment besides symptoms from acutecoronary syndrome that make them more exposed to coronary heartdisease, which leads to stroke and heart failure. Most of thesymptoms identified included shortness of breath, which is morerampant among the African Americans than the whites (Mozaffarianetal.,2015).


Inconclusion, heart disease is the leading reason for mortality in theUnited States, particularly among the African Americans. Therefore,determining risks factors among the African Americans is very crucialin managing the problem. Similarly, awareness of disparities in heartdisease risks factors between the whites and African Americans isneeded through the assessment and quantification of the modifiedrisks factors. That will aid the health professionals and cliniciansin developing culturally sensitive interventions, preventiveprograms, and any other particular services towards the burden risksof heart disease in African Americans.


Cruickshank,J. K., &amp Beevers, D. G. (2013).&nbspEthnicfactors in health and disease.UK: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Mann,D. L., Zipes, D. P., Libby, P., &amp Bonow, R. O.(2014).&nbspBraunwald`sheart disease: a textbook of cardiovascular medicine.Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Mozaffarian,D., Benjamin, E. J., Go, A. S., Arnett, D. K., Blaha, M. J., Cushman,M., … &amp Huffman, M. D. (2015). Executive summary: heart diseaseand stroke statistics—2015 update.&nbspCirculation,&nbsp131(4),434-441.