How your ethnicity impacts heart disease risk

How your ethnicity impacts heart disease risk

African Americans, Latinos and Asians were found to have a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to Caucasian people, according to a recent study.

CHD plays a major role in heart attacks, the leading cause of death in this country. CHD is a disease where a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle.

“We were able to evaluate ethnic differences in risk of future coronary heart disease within a diverse population, including not only black, but also large Asian and Latino populations, with uniform access to care in an integrated health care delivery system,” said lead author Dr. Jamal S. Rana, PhD, of the Division of Cardiology and Clinical Adjunct with Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, in a statement.

Researchers found that African Americans, Latinos and Asians without any prior history of coronary heart disease had lower risk of the disease compared to Caucasians, regardless of having diabetes.

People with previous coronary heart disease and no diabetes, African Americans had a slightly increased risk of future heart disease compared to Caucasians. Latinos did not have any difference in risk compared to Caucasians in both of the groups, and Asians had a reduced chance.

“Although addressing the correlation between heart disease among ethnic groups is very complex, these studies point out the importance of lifestyle modifications,” says Dr. Sunil Kadakia, a cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill.

Dr. Kadakia says checking your heart with online tools, like a heart risk assessment, is beneficial in heart disease prevention, as it promotes preventive strategies such as diet, exercise and not smoking.

Do you know your risk for heart disease? Take Advocate Heart Institute’s heart risk assessment here. If you are at high risk, see an Advocate cardiologist within 24 hours.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.