So are African Americans at a greater risk for heart disease? Well that's a great question. African Americans can be at a greater risk for heart disease. A lot of the risk may come from the risk factors that the general population also has. These are, lack of exercise, poor dietary choices, and increased rates of smoking. Other risk factors for African Americans are genetically based which come from inheritable disorders that they get from their parents.
Like anyone else it's important for African Americans patients to see their doctor regularly to get screened for the risk factors or evidence of heart disease. African Americans, much like the general population, can do some basic things to reduce their risk of getting heart disease. That would be engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors, reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol in the diet, making healthy choices when they eat, exercising more regularly, stopping smoking, and taking time to de-stress.
If we speak about African Americans specifically, there are increased rates of high blood pressure, and the onset of atherosclerosis or blocked coronary arteries at an earlier age. So it's important to get screened early. So taken overall African Americans do have an increased rate of heart disease.