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P1215 Women and Heart Disease

Health disparities among Hispanics and African Americans Hispanics have a slightly higher risk for heart disease than Caucasians, and are less aware of their cardiovascular risk factors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, language and cultural barriers, lack of access to prevention care, and lack of health insurance may lead to poorer health among Hispanics. Compared with Caucasian women, Hispanic women are three times as likely to be uninsured. African Americans not only are at higher risk for hypertension, but they also get it at a younger age, and suffer more of the complications. And the problem is not confined to adults: Studies have shown that overweight African-American preteens, especially girls, may develop hypertension. Among African-American women 20 years old and older, heart disease is the leading cause of death. In those over age 18, the rate of coronary heart disease is directly related to education, income and poverty status. What you can do You should not ignore health problems no matter how big or small—it will not make it go away. Take advantage of any medical benefits provided by your employer. Everyone, no matter how healthy, should see a healthcare provider every 1 to 3 years depending on age and medical history. This will allow you to identify problems early and have more options for treatment. If you don’t already have a healthcare provider that you see regularly, find one with whom you feel comfortable. Before each visit, write down a list of questions you have and make sure to get answers to all of them. Bring a friend along if it helps. Take advantage of the public clinics and health services in your community. Don’t be discouraged if there are long wait times and less-than-friendly service. These are barriers you must overcome to ensure better health for you and your family. abcardio.org 29


P1215 Women and Heart Disease
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