National Minority Health Month-Think Again About Heart Disease

National Minority Health Month-Think Again About Heart Disease

April is National Minority Health Month, an initiative that addresses the overall health needs of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and other minority populations.1 Its goal is to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. At Close the Gap, we're especially interested in raising awareness about minorities and heart disease.

Minorities & Heart Disease: At a Greater Risk

Think minorities don't carry a disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness than White Americans? Think again. Just looking at the statistics for cardiovascular disease proves that minority populations — like Black Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans — are suffering at a higher rate.

Facts about minority patients and heart disease:

  • Black Americans are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, heart failure and stroke than White Americans.2
  • Black Americans are 2 times more likely than White Americans to be diagnosed with diabetes and 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension.3
  • Black Americans have a risk of first-ever stroke that is almost twice that of White Americans.2
  • Diseases of heart and stroke rank as the #1 killer of Latino Americans.2
  • An estimated 30% of adult Hispanics have diabetes,4 but nearly half don’t realize it.2 Untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications, including cardiovascular disease and renal failure.5
  • Among Latino Americans age 20 and older, 77.5% of men and 75.1% of women are overweight - an important risk factor for heart disease.4

Minorities & Heart Disease: Underserved Patients

In addition to the staggering statistics for heart disease and related conditions listed above, minorities face costly disparities in the care they receive as well. For example:

  • Blacks and Latinos who are at high risk for heart disease are less likely to receive lifesaving treatments than Caucasian males.5, 9, 10
  • Black patients are 31% less likely to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy compared with patients of other races.6
  • Black Americans and Hispanic patients with acute peripheral artery disease continue to face a higher risk of amputation while being less likely to undergo surgical or endovascular repair than Caucasian patients.7
  • Even when they have insurance and are of the same social class, minorities often receive a lower quality of care than do their Caucasian counterparts.8

Everyone: Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

At Close the Gap, we believe that everyone in America should have the chance to live a healthy life. During Minority Health Month, we want to remind you to take care of yourself and your heart health. There are steps you can take to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Plus, by increasing your knowledge and talking with your doctor, you can be sure that you receive the treatment you need.

What's Your Risk?

Use our assessment tool to find out if you're at risk for developing heart disease.

Assess your risk now

Who's At Risk?

Who's at Risk? - Know the Facts

Certain populations are at a greater risk for heart disease.

Know the facts

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