Racial Gap in Heart Health on Steady Decline (Study)

small heart charts and a stethoscope

The racial gap in heart health has declined but not for the good reasons. A new study shows that heart health in white Americans had decreased and that is why the health disparities have also declined. For this research, the scientists looked at health records of more than 40,000 adults, including white Americans, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans.

Worrying Heart Health Statistics

Their results were either poor, suboptimal, and optimal for their heart health. The researchers used a standard classification system to sort the scores of all these people. As such, it was observed that from 1988 to 1994, the number of black American who were aged between 25 and 44 who had optimal health was 22% lower than the rate of white Americans.

The rates have changed though, making the racial gap decline. Unfortunately, the number of people with optimal heart health decreased for both white and black Americans. Between 2011 and 2014 only 3.8% of black Americans and 10.6% of white Americans had optimal heart health. However, this study did not focus on the overall health of the patients.

Decreasing Heart Health Levels

These results show that the racial gap in heart health declined but it was mainly because the health of the white Americans decreased. For this study, researchers used a system known as LS7, which generates health categories. The system uses info from blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI, physical activity, and diet to generate the heart health indicators.

The same study observed that over time only 15% of African-Americans, 40% of white Americans, and 25% of Mexican-Americans had optimal heart health. White Americans had lower scores when it came to BMI and physical activity. Moreover, the researchers also saw that immigrant Mexican-Americans had lower risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. All in all, the research shows that the racial gap in heart health has lowered due to the decrease in the health of white Americans.

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