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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Heart Disease and African Americans

  • In 2018, African Americans were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.
  • Although African American adults are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, they are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have their blood pressure under control.
  • African American women are 60 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

Diagnosed Cases of Coronary Heart Disease:

Age-adjusted percentage of coronary heart disease among persons 18 years of age and over, 2018
Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
5.4 5.8 0.9

Source: CDC 2021. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-1a.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Death Rate:

Age-adjusted heart disease death rates per 100,000 (2018)
  Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men 270.6 213.1 1.3
Women 168.6 130.7 1.3
Total 212.0 168.1 1.3

Source: CDC 2021. National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 69, No. 13. Table 10.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69-13-508.pdf [PDF | 2.05MB]

 

Risk Factors:

There are several risk factors related to heart disease. Some of these risk factors are:

Obesity and Overweight

– See Obesity and African Americans

 

Hypertension

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who have high blood pressure, 2017-2018
  Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men 57.2 50.2 1.1
Women 56.7 36.7 1.5
Total 57.1 43.6 1.3

Source: CDC 2020. Hypertension Prevalence and Control Among Adults: United States, 2017–2018. NCHS Data Brief, No. 364.  Figure 4.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db364-h.pdf [PDF | 398.15 KB]

 

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who have high blood pressure, 2018
Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
32.8 24.0 1.4

Source: CDC 2021. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-1a.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Percentage of adults aged 18 and over with hypertension whose blood pressure is under control, 2015-2016
      Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
  Men 40.1 47.7 0.8
Women 48.5 48.5 1.0
Total 44.6 50.8 0.9

Source: CDC: 2017. Hypertension Prevalence and Control Among Adults: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief, No. 289.  Figure 4.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db289.pdf [PDF | 361 KB]

 

High Cholesterol

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 20 years of age and over who have high cholesterol, 2015-2016  
  Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men 24.3 33.6 0.7
Women 23.8 31.6 0.8
Total 24.1 32.7 0.7

Source: CDC 2019. Health United States, 2018. Table 23.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus18.pdf [PDF | 1.56MB]

 

 Percentage of adults who received a blood cholesterol measurement in the last 5 years, 2017
Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
90.1 87.3 1.0

Source: AHRQ 2021. National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. Data Query. Table 7 _5_ 1_ 4_2.1.
http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/data/query

 

Cigarette Smoking

Age-adjusted percentage of persons 18 years of age and over who are current cigarette smokers, 2018  
  Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men 17.6 16.7 1.1
Women 11.6 14.4 0.8
Total 14.3 15.5 0.9

Source: CDC 2021. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-12a.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Percentage of current smokers age 18 and over with a checkup who reported receiving advice to quit smoking, 2017
Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black /
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
76.6 77.0 1.0

Source: AHRQ 2021. National Healthcare Quality Report. Table 7_2_1_1_1_.1.
http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/data/query

Last Modified: 2/11/2021 11:32:00 AM