Study: Heart disease, stroke cutting lives of Black Americans

Patient in a hospital bed looking into the distance.

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.