Studies on cardiovascular disease and survival show varying results between different ethnic
groups. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States for
African Americans. Cardiovascular disease is used interchangeably with the term heart disease to
refer to conditions that block the blood vessels that happen to lead to chest pains, heart attacks,
and even stroke.
In the African American community, cardiovascular disease continues to be
high and is a primary cause of imbalance in life expectancy between African Americans and
other ethnicities. It no longer is a disease that is exclusive to men, as nearly 8.5 million women
worldwide have died of the disease.
Risk factors that are strong predictors of this condition are
hypertension, chronic kidney disease, high levels of cholesterol and obesity.
Key terms: Heart disease, African American, women, men, cardiovascular, disparity, ethnicity,
The Effects of Cardiovascular Disease on African Americans