By Johnese Bostic, Health Equity and Disparities Consultant
The leading cause of death and disability in the United States and South Carolina, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a broad term for a range of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. Impacting the structure and function of the heart, CVD includes coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and other diseases of the vein.
Heart disease and stroke are a real burden for South Carolina. During 2012, heart disease was the second leading cause of death in our state, resulting in the passing of more than 9, 200 South Carolinians. The fourth leading cause of death was stroke, resulting in more than 2,300 deaths.
So, why do we need a heart to heart about cardiovascular disease in African Americans?
African Americans are at a greater risk for developing heart disease and suffer from more stroke- related deaths than other ethnicities.
- More than 2, 440 African Americans in South Carolina died of heart disease in 2012 alone
- The stroke death rate of African Americans in South Carolina was 13% higher than the 2010 national stroke death rate for African Americans
- African Americans are more than 46% more likely to die from stroke than Whites in South Carolina