This paper introduces a new approach understanding about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African Americans, to improve self-efficacy for diet and physical activity, and to increase intentions to eat healthier and be physically active. This paper examines the effects of risks associated with being an African American with cardiovascular disease. These changes in behavioral, educational and physical activity may reverse the effects of cardiovascular disease. Providing education about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease can offer a reduction in early death amongst young African American men.
African Americans and Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a term used to describe diseases of the heart and blood vessels, in which the blood vessels are blocked and leads to various forms of CVD such as stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, and congenital heart defects. According to the American Heart Association (2009), more Americans die from CVD than any other disease and African Americans are at a greater risk for the disease than any other ethnic group (pp32). CVD is the number one killer of African American males in the United States. The American Heart Associations’ statistics show that 45.9% of African American men have some form of CVD, 32.4% of these African Americans will die before the age of fifty. Over 100,000 black men die each year from CVD; this is 274 men every day, and 11 men an hour. There are many factors that contribute to this disparity, but most of these factors can be corrected or prevented. The cardiovascular diseases that are the greatest threat to African Americans are coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and high cholesterol. The risk factors or causes for these diseases are usually linked or overlapping, that is factors that contribute to high cholesterol also may cause stroke or heart disease. The
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