Cardiovascular Disease Essay

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Cardiovascular Disease in the African American Community
Causes, Preventions, and Treatments

     Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to the dysfunctional conditions of the heart, arteries, and veins that supply oxygen to vital life- sustaining areas of the body like the brain, the heart itself and other vital organs. Since the term cardiovascular disease refers to any dysfunction of the cardiovascular system there are many different diseases in the cardiovascular category, and many of these diseases are strongly intertwined. Ischemic Heart Disease is the medical idiom for the obstruction of blood flow to the heart. It is usually due largely in part to excess fat or plaque deposits that narrow the veins that
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In fact, CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. In the US one person dies every 30 seconds from heart disease, that’s over 2,600 people every day. As serious a problem as heart disease is to the general population, cardiovascular disease is ravaging the African American community. In 2001 alone, 48,939 black males and 56,821 black females died of heart disease. Clearly heart disease is more than just a problem in the African American community; it is a matter of life or death. Which raises the question, why do African Americans have such a higher propensity for heart disease? Naturally, there is a multi-faceted answer. African Americans have a higher occurrence of the health related behaviors that lead to heart disease, are biologically more apt to develop risk factors related to heart disease, and have a greater likelihood to be apart of a social network with an increased incidence of CVD.
     
A large number of biological variables are thought to be related to the greater prevalence of heart disease in African Americans. These variables include a greater degree of sensitivity to dietary sodium, increased cardiovascular reactivity, increased vascular resistance, and increased prevalence of LVH, hyperinsulinemia, and lower rennin or prostaglandin levels. Most importantly however, is the predisposition to hypertension and dyslipidemia. Hypertension is

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