Your Ethnicity and Cardiovascular Disease: Are You At Risk?

We welcome information from Crouse Health, one of our region’s leading health care providers. Urbancny.com will bring you information from the organization in an effort to inform and enlighten people about their health. As many health officials have stated, there are things people can do to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease. Thanks to Crouse Health we’ll bring you periodic Information regarding a variety of health issues.

“News, you can use”, to better understand some of the issues as seen by local healthcare professionals. The following topic is important, given that many African Americans are unaware that they may have cardiovascular disease. The information provided below, asks and answers the question, “What can I do to reduce my risk?”  

About 50 percent of African-American adults have at least one of the three primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease: smoking, high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol. In fact, 48 percent of African-American women and 44 percent of African-American men already have cardiovascular disease.

While you can’t change your family history (genetics), you can control your blood pressure. If you know your blood pressure is high, check it regularly, and notify your doctor of changes in case treatment needs to be adjusted.

Why it matters-Heart disease is a serious, life-threatening illness. More people die of cardiovascular disease than any other cause. And, since many of the signs of heart disease are not noticeable, many African-Americans do not realize they already have heart disease — until it’s too late.

  • One in five African-American adults smokes cigarettes.
  • More than three-quarters of non-Hispanic black women are overweight or obese.
  • African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
  • Uncontrolled and undiagnosed diabetes puts African-Americans at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, many heart disease risk factors are things YOU can control. That means you have the power to reduce your risk for heart disease, improve your health, enhance the quality of your life and possibly even live longer. Review the list below for cardiovascular risk factors. Perhaps, it’s time to have a conversation with your doctor.

How many of these cardiovascular risk factors do you have?

  • I am overweight or obese.
  • I do not get enough physical activity.
  • I have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • I smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products.
  • I have a family history of heart disease.
  • I am a man over age 45 or a woman over 55.
  • I have been diagnosed with heart disease.

Talk to your doctor TODAY. Your doctor can help you prevent heart disease. Ask your doctor:

  1. What are MY risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and why?
  2. What screenings or tests are right for ME?
  3. What actions can I take to decrease MY risk for cardiovascular disease?
  4. What are MY cardiovascular health goals?

This health Information provided by Crouse Health online at www.crouse.org