Here are some important statistics about African Americans, heart disease and stroke, and the major risk factors 
Monday, January 11, 2010




Here are some important 

statistics about African Americans, heart disease 
and stroke, and the 
major risk factors 
Heart disease and stroke
Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of blacks.
Heart and blood vessel diseases (and all other cardiovascular diseases) claim the lives of over 100,000 blacks every year.
These diseases account for 32 percent of all deaths among blacks in the United States.
Cigarette smoking
This is the single greatest preventable cause of premature death in the United States.
24 percent of non-Hispanic black men smoke, and 17.2 percent of non-Hispanic black women do. That’s alarming because smokers' risk of developing coronary heart disease is 2–4 times that of nonsmokers.
•   Constant exposure to someone else’s tobacco smoke — in your workplace, at home or elsewhere — increases your risk even if you don’t smoke.
High Blood Pressure
•   High blood pressure has no symptoms. That’s why it’s called the “silent killer.”
•   More than 42.6 percent of adult non-Hispanic black males and 46.6 percent of females have high blood pressure.
•   Compared to whites, blacks are more likely to have high blood pressure, develop it earlier in life, and have more severe cases.
•   Blacks are 1.5 times more likely to die from heart disease and 1.8 times more likely to die from stroke than whites.
Kidney disease
•   Blacks represent 29 percent of treated end-stage renal (kidney ) disease patients.
•   Blacks are more likely than whites to have blood pressure-related kidney problems.
•   Blacks are six times more likely than whites to develop high blood pressure-related kidney failure.
•   If you have diabetes, you also have a significantly higher risk for kidney problems.
Physical Inactivity
•   About 27 percent of non-Hispanic black men and about 34 percent of non-Hispanic black women aren’t physically active.
Overweight and Obesity
•  Studies show that 79.6 percent of non-Hispanic black women and 67 percent of non-Hispanic black men who are age 20 or older are overweight or obese. If you have too much fat — especially in your waist area — you’re at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Extra weight also is a major cause of gallstones, and it can worsen degenerative joint disease.
•  All that excess weight puts a severe strain on your heart.
•  It raises your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and it makes you more likely to develop diabetes. That’s a triple whammy that makes your overall risk even greater.
•  Diabetes is common among African Americans  It’s often referred to as “sugar,” and 10 percent of non-Hispanic black males and 13.2 percent of females who are age 20 or older have it.
•  Sadly, about a third of African Americans with diabetes don’t know they have it.
Source:  American Heart Association

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