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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Problem With Black People's Hearts

African American woman being diagnosed

Health researchers recently discovered yet another health problem that has increased adverse outcomes for blacks, compared to whites with the same problem. This particular health problem focuses on black people's hearts.

Almost twice the risk

The research was conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Institute and took over 20 years to complete. Study participants included more than 15,000 blacks and whites with an average age of 54. The study focused on adults with atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) which can increase a person's chance for having a stroke. According to study results, blacks who had atrial fibrillation had almost twice the risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure and death than whites with the same heart disorder.

Why are risks among blacks greater?

Basically, they don't know. Their responses to the study results were "There needs to be further investigation," and "The reason for these disparities remains unclear." What they do know is that blacks have an increased risk for stroke, and blacks have worse outcomes than whites from cardiovascular disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But specifically why blacks with atrial fibrillation are highly more likely to have adverse outcomes than whites remains unclear.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) among blacks is far more deadly than it is for white people. It's another sad disproportionate health outcome affecting blacks that calls for more research to find out why this is happening.

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