Heart Disease in the African American Culture

Topics: Heart, Atherosclerosis, Artery Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: March 8, 2011
Heart Disease in the African American Culture

May 31, 2010

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. There are many factors that contribute to the causes of heart disease. Within these factors there are two categories, which are factors you cannot change and those that you can. Some of these factors you cannot change consist of increasing age, over 83 percent of people who die of coronary disease are age 65 and older, gender is another factor you cannot change, men have a greater risk of heart attacks and have them younger than women do. Heredity is a huge factor when it comes to heart disease children who have parents that have suffered from heart attacks are more likely to develop heart disease themselves. Previous heart attacks can also raise a persons risk for future problems. The heart attack risk factors that people are able to change are physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, obesity and being overweight, high blood pressure and cholesterol and also diabetes. People who smoke cigarettes are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure can be changed by increasing physical activity and losing weight. Stress is also a factor that can raise blood pressure and put a person at a higher risk for heart disease. Diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, eating right and being physically active. There is a type of diabetes that is hereditary and if a person is diagnosed with it there is really not a way to change it but it can be controlled with medications.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. Coronary Heart Disease is caused by a combination of fatty material, scar tissue (plaque) and calcium build up in the arteries. This causes the blood flow to be restricted so that the heart does not get enough blood flow and oxygen. Like any muscle the heart needs oxygen and a constant supply of nutrients that are carried to it through arteries, when the coronary...
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