UAB Research: African Americans at higher risk of heart disease - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UAB Research: Black men and women are at higher risk of heart disease

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Here's a reality check:  Even the most health-conscious baby boomers won't be immune from heart problems or strokes. A new study finds that among 55 year olds who don't smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, about one-third will develop heart or other cardiovascular problems as they age.

If those baby boomers are African American, their risk is even higher.

According to recent research by UAB researchers, black men and women still have twice the risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with white men and women.

Most of this disparity may be due to greater risk factor burden among blacks — including smoking, diabetes and hypertension — suggesting that it could be eliminated with better risk factor control, the researchers say.

Coronary heart disease rates in the United States have steadily declined since the 1970s for all racial groups. However, UAB researchers analyzing death certificate information and other data from four U.S. cities found a steeper decline between 2000 and 2008 in acute coronary heart disease deaths for whites than for blacks.

The study will appear in the November 7th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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