Why black women are more prone to heart disease?


A black woman getting a check-up at a hospital. — iStockphoto/File

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the US, however, black women are at greater risk of developing heart disease as compared to other groups.

Heart disease affects almost half of Black women aged 20 and above. Additionally, as juxtaposed to white women, they had a 2.4-fold higher risk of developing heart disease, according to a recent EH Project analysis.

Black women had an age-adjusted death rate from heart disease of 165 per 100,000 as of 2019, while White women had an age-adjusted death rate of 129.6 per 100,000. Black women are also more likely to have coronary artery disease, which limits blood flow to the heart.

There are several reasons why Black women have a higher risk. “Social determinants of health play a significant role in the development of heart disease among Black women,” Dr Rachel M Bond, cardiologist and co-chair of the Association of Black Cardiologists’s Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Children’s Committee, tells Yahoo Life.

In addition to genetic predisposition, lifestyle variables, and medical problems, black women have a higher chance of acquiring heart disease.

Dr Karol Watson, professor of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said, “Genetic predisposition is hard to quantify but can be roughly estimated by knowing the family history of many members of the same family. If they suffer from the same disease, they may have some shared genetic risk,”

Watson advises Black women to “know your numbers, maintain an optimal body weight, and control your risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.”



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