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Heart disease in the African American community

Heart disease in the African American community

Sample Answer 

Heart disease in the African American community

Heart disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in the United States, only comparable to cancer. While this epidemic affects all Americans, certain minority groups in the country face an increased risk of suffering from heart diseases and other related conditions than others. From data available in different research databases, most African Americans are at a higher risk of contracting heart diseases compared to Caucasians and other ethnic compositions of the American population. About 48 percent and 44 percent of African American women and men, respectively, had some heart-related conditions in 2018 (Roger, Go, Lloyd-Jones, Adams, Berry, Brown, and Fox, 2018). Alternatively, 37 percent and 34 percent of White American males and females, respectively, were diagnosed with heart diseases in the same period (Roger, Go, Lloyd-Jones, Adams, Berry, Brown, and Fox, 2018). The Hispanic/Latino ethnic groups record the least with about 30 percent rates (Roger, Go, Lloyd-Jones, Adams, Berry, Brown, and Fox, 2018). The African American community has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, higher rates of diabetes, and high blood pressure as compared to other ethnic compositions, which are the predisposing factors to heart disease.

Research reveals that African Americans face other health challenges that are the risk factors to heart disease as compared to the other racial compositions in the United States. First, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 57 percent of adult African American women are obese as opposed to 34 percent of non-Hispanic white women (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, and Curtin, 2010). Additionally, the higher prevalence of hypertension among the African American population that is not well controlled, as in the case of whites and Hispanics, increases the chances of congestive heart failure and stroke (West, Dutton, Delahanty, Hazuda, Rickman, Knowler, and Cassidy Begay, 2019). While some of these heart diseases, including coronary artery disease (CAD) among others, are related to behavior patterns such as smoking among other risky behaviors, the case with African Americans can be classified as genetically instigated as fewer African Americans smoke cigarettes as compared to Caucasians (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, and Curtin, 2010). Some research findings suggest that African Americans are particularly sensitive to salt, which is a leading cause of diseases.

Much of the difference in the ethnic compositions affected by heart disease is influenced by lifestyles, which are simultaneously affected by a variety of factors, including education, socioeconomic status, environment, culture, history, and stress levels, among several other factors. Historical research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center indicates that many of older African Americans believe that a heavier is a healthier weight (West, Dutton, Delahanty, Hazuda, Rickman, Knowler, and Cassidy Begay, 2019). The belief follows a cultural and historical practice that having extra weight protects people from infectious diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis, and pneumonia, which is not common among the current population. More health education programs should be encouraged among the African American community to sensitize them to the current health complications facing the population so that they conform to the current lifestyles that are not as risky as the previous beliefs.

Living a healthy lifestyle is also associated with economic status and stress levels among the American population. While many factors have been identified to predispose people to be metabolic, renal, and cardiovascular complications, low levels of education, high insurance rates, and higher poverty rates, as well as limited access to healthcare services among the African American population, is uncommon with other ethnic groups in America. According to the finding of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center research studies, African Americans have limited access to fresh vegetables and fruits; they opt for prepackaged and fast foods that have uncontrolled salt levels that make it difficult to control blood pressure (Taylor, Henderson, Abbasi, and Clifford, 2018). The African American community needs to get the right information on how to manage their social life according to their economic levels to take control of their blood pressure and reduce their chances of contracting heart diseases.

While most African Americans are reported to be highly sensitive to salt, sugar intake contributes to the increased risk of heart disease. Over the last century, the reliance on soft drinks bought off the shelves has significantly increased in the United States. Research indicates that the intake of sweetened beverages has significantly increased from 3.2 percent in 1970 to 9 percent in 2000 and 17 percent in 2017 of the total energy intake (Taylor, Henderson, Abbasi, and Clifford, 2018). African Americans record the highest levels of sugar intake in this category (Taylor, Henderson, Abbasi, and Clifford, 2018). Added sugars of above 15 percent in the diet increase cardiovascular disease risks, while African Americans ingest about 17 percent of added sugars in their diet (Taylor, Henderson, Abbasi, and Clifford, 2018). Therefore, African American children and women should control their intake of added sugar, especially with beverages taken for recreation and refreshment.

In conclusion, African Americans are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases as compared to other ethnic compositions based on their genetic compositions, social lifestyles, economic levels, and inadequate information on healthcare services available around them. Current research findings present a genetic bias for the likeliness of hypertension among this ethnic composition as compared to other racial groups. The risks of obesity and diabetes are also increasingly affecting blacks. Additionally, cultural and historical practices in the African American community have, for a long time, subjected the ethnic minority to heart diseases. More importantly, sugar and salt intake should be controlled among the population to ensure that the associated risks are managed. Finally, economics and stress levels have significantly contributed to this epidemic among the black community. Therefore, the government should consider making healthcare services available and affordable for every person, especially healthcare insurance for individuals with chronic illnesses such as heart disease.


Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M. D., Ogden, C. L., & Curtin, L. R. (2010). Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999-2008. Jama303(3), 235-241.

Roger, V. L., Go, A. S., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Adams, R. J., Berry, J. D., Brown, T. M., & Fox, C. S. (2018). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2011 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation123(4), e18-e209.

Taylor, H. A., Henderson, F., Abbasi, A., & Clifford, G. (2018). Cardiovascular disease in African Americans: innovative community engagement for research recruitment and impact. American Journal of Kidney Diseases72(5), S43-S46.

West, D. S., Dutton, G., Delahanty, L. M., Hazuda, H. P., Rickman, A. D., Knowler, W. C., … & Cassidy Begay, M. (2019). Weight Loss Experiences of African American, Hispanic, and Non‐Hispanic White Men and Women with Type 2 Diabetes: The Look AHEAD Trial. Obesity27(8), 1275-1284.


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Heart disease in the African American community

In this course, you will be complete a 2-part assignment in which you conduct research about a population of focus, develop a PICOT statement, and write a Literature Review. The PICOT statement and Literature Review you write in this course can be used for your evidence-based practice project in the next course so be sure to select an issue you want to continue working on in your next course.

PICOT (Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time to achieve the outcome) is a method that helps clarify the qualities needed to create a good question out of a practice issue or problem affecting the population of focus. Additionally, the information derived from a good PICOT makes it easier to perform a literature search in order to find translational research sources that can be used to address the clinical problem.

Use a national, state, or local population healthcare database to research indicators of disparity. Choose a mortality/morbidity indicator to identify a clinical problem or issue that you want to explore pertaining to a population of focus. Use this indicator to begin to formulate a PICOT and conduct research on the population.

Write a 750-1,000-word paper that analyzes your research and focuses on the population you have chosen. Describe the population’s demographics and health concerns, and explain how nursing science, health determinants, and epidemiologic, genomic, and genetic data may impact population health management for the selected population. Provide an overview of a potential solution for solving the health issue related to your population and the intended PICOT statement. Describe how the solution incorporates health policies and goals that support healthcare equity for the population of focus.

You are required to cite three to five sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and nursing content.

Heart disease in the African American community

Heart disease in the African American community

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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