The Heart of the Matter

Doctors lead an initiative to improve cardiovascular health

Black Americans are 2 times more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with diabetes and 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension—important risk factors for heart disease.

The prevalence for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) increases dramatically with age and disproportionately affects black Americans.

Black Americans are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke than white Americans.

The prevalence of hypertension in black Americans in the United States is among the highest in the world.

The annual rate of first heart attacks is higher for black Americans than for white Americans.

SOURCE: BOSTON SCIENTIFIC

GENERAL HEART DISEASE STATISTICS

More women than men die of heart disease, although more men have heart attacks.

As you age, your risk for heart disease increases.

At age 40, the lifetime risk for developing heart disease is 2 in 3 for men and more than 1 in 2 for women.

Heart disease causes more deaths in Americans of both genders and all racial and ethnic groups than any other disease.

Black Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Latino Americans die at earlier ages from heart disease.

This story originally appeared in the July 2008 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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