The Prevalence Of Heart Disease For African Americans

1017 words - 5 pages

The Prevalence of Heart Disease for African Americans
Lucinda Kroll
Grand Canyon University

The Prevalence of Heart Disease for African Americans
American physicians have drastically reduced cardiovascular mortality and the death rates have decreased 17% since the 1990's (Nash, 2003). Their have been so many advances in open heart surgery, heart transplantations, and thrombolysis in the past decade. Their have also been great strides made in medications with heart disease patients (Nash, 2003). Unfortunately, the African American culture has not seen as much advancement as other cultures (Nash, 2003).
African Americans have the highest rate of heart disease compared to all other ...view middle of the document...

Some explanation for the increase in obesity are the African American cuisine, that can be high in sodium and fat (Nash, 2003). Some cultural aspects have shown a lack of importance for physical activity (Nash, 2003). Another common risk factor is poor blood pressure control, which is also associated with diet, lack of exercise, and obesity (Nash, 2003). Many African Americans sometimes are unaware they have high blood pressure until it is too late and results in a stroke or a myocardial infarction (Nash, 2003).
Compliance has been an issue for this culture, because of many reasons. Cost of medications and sometimes multiple medications can result in noncompliance (Nash, 2003). Adverse effects that are not understood by the patient and the inability to make follow up appointments can lead to noncompliance for these patients as well (Nash, 2003). Another barrier to compliance is that some African Americans find it to be a weakness to have to take medication everyday because they were unable to control their blood pressure with diet and exercise (Nash, 2003).
Heart failure due to uncontrolled blood pressure has increased morbidity and mortality (Nash, 2003). African Americans admitted with heart failure have been an average of eight years younger that Caucasians. They also have history of hypertension, less access to health care and a decrease in socioeconomic status (Nash, 2003).
Heart disease among African Americans seems to be growing and although there is some understanding of why this is happening their does not seem to be an easy answer to solve this problem. A research article written in 2011, Knowledge of young African American Adults about Heart Disease, attempted to find out from young African Americans, ages 18-26 of different educational backgrounds, in Arizona what their understanding of their risk to cardiovascular disease could be (Winham and Jones, 2011). The researchers asked 172 young African American men and women to complete a questionnaire that had been tailored from the American Hear Association (Winham and Jones, 2011).
The results found that the majority of the young African...

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