Heart health month

Black History Month

This year, February will be a celebration of Black History Month with the theme “Black Resistance.” 

How can we focus on this theme? ASALH explains: “This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.”

 The Significance of Black History Month and Why It Is Celebrated in February

Black History and Heart Health

February is Heart Health Month, and to raise awareness for one of the most important organs in our body, the heart, we want to recognize the large-scale impact of heart disease in America.

However, to talk about American heart health without acknowledging that the Black community is disproportionately affected by the disease would omit an essential part of the conversation. African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population however, the Black community is affected by heart disease at much higher rates than their white counterparts. How is that?

While health disparities are a complex issue, they are not new to the American healthcare system. Marginalized groups are far more likely to be affected by patterns of discrimination and substandard care, and in the case of Black patients, when environmental and socioeconomic factors merge with medical racism and a lack of health insurance, there’s no one singular solution to the problem.

To better understand the causes of higher rates of heart disease in the Black community, we dove into the data. Here’s what we found:

Younger African Americans are living with or dying of many conditions typically found in white Americans at older ages—this includes heart disease. (CDC)

Black people are twice as likely to die from heart disease than whites. (CDC)

Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease. (CDC)

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In 2018, Black people were 30% more likely to die from heart disease than white people. On top of that, Black adults were more likely to have high blood pressure, but less likely to have it under control. A healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and visits to the doctor can help you manage your heart health.

High Blood Pressure Among Black People – Brochure 

Black people develop HBP more frequently and often more severely than people from other racial and ethnic groups. This booklet supports efforts to promote healthy lifestyle habits and encourage regular blood pressure monitoring. The content focuses on understanding blood pressure, risk factors for HBP, and common treatments such as eating healthier, getting regular physical activity and the role of medications.

Click here to read more

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