Cardiovascular Health in African Americans

Published: October 23, 2017

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  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in African Americans. Life expectancy is about 3.4 years shorter in African Americans than whites and CVD has been estimated to explain about 30-40% of the difference in mortality.
  • The higher prevalence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, obesity and atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk) underlies the relatively earlier age of onset of cardiovascular diseases among African Americans.
  • This scientific statement describes cardiovascular health in African Americans and highlights unique considerations for disease prevention and management.