Black Americans have a shorter life expectancy than whites due in part to higher rates of heart disease and stroke, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA). While heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans, heart disease develops earlier and deaths from heart disease are higher in blacks, due in part to risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Citing health data from several NHLBI-funded studies—including MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)—the statement highlights the need for educating black children and young adults about the importance of healthy lifestyles. It appears in the AHA journal Circulation.
Reuters: Heart health disparities take toll on African-Americans
U.S. News & World Report: Heart Disease, Stroke Cutting Black Lives Short
Medical Xpress: African Americans live shorter lives due to heart disease and stroke
WebMD: Heart Disease, Stroke Cutting Black Lives Short
Healio: AHA: Heart disease, stroke shorten life expectancy of black Americans