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HHS HealthBeat (December 11, 2012)

Black risk of heart death

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The risk factors

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say black men and women have double whites’ risk of dying of coronary heart disease, which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Monika Safford found this in data on about 24,000 people nationwide who were followed for, on average, about four years.

She says the common causes are the same for blacks and whites:

“High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol – these are the things that have very longstanding reputation for being associated with heart attack. And the overall risk burden in blacks is quite a bit higher than it is in whites.”

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: December 11, 2012