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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Other Races Can Survive 2-3 Heart Attacks, But Here's Why Black People Often Die From the First

African American woman having a heart attack

When it comes to heart attacks, it is best to prevent them in the first place. But it is especially important for blacks because studies show that black men and women have a greater risk of dying from the first heart attack than white people, who can survive 2-3 heart attacks.

The biggest risk affects both Black men and women between the ages of 45-64. Black men are twice as likely to die of a first heart attack as white men, and the risk of fatal heart attack is also greater among black women than for white women. The discovery came as a result of examining heart studies of 28,000 people. But why is the risk of death from a first heart attack greater for blacks?

Why are heart attacks deadlier for Blacks?

Study senior author Dr. Monika Safford, who is chief of General Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, believes the reason stems from lifestyle risk factors, including where people are born, grow, work and live. In addition, the symptoms of heart attack can often be mistaken for just indigestion because heart attacks don't always begin with severe chest pain.

Safford emphasized the importance of Blacks to recognize all the symptoms that may indicate heart problems and to seek medical attention immediately. This may prevent many deaths among blacks as a result of first heart attacks.

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