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Racial Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: Daily Dose

Racial Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: Daily Dose / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

Last week, we reported on findings from a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that examined the extent of racial disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes between Black and White individuals in the US.

The study

Investigators examined national death certificate data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) database between 2000 and 2022. They stratified individuals according to 5-year age groups as well as by non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White populations. The causes of death defined as CVD were ischemic heart disease, HTN, cerebrovascular disease, and HF. They then calculated age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) for each of the 4 diseases by weighting the crude death rate by the fraction of individuals in that age group according to the 2000 population distribution.

The findings

Between 2000 and 2022, there were an estimated 779 387 excess deaths and 23.7 million excess years of potential life lost (YPLL) due to CVD among Black Americans compared to White Americans. Black women and men had an extra 362 887 and 416 500 excess deaths as well as 11.2 and 12.5 million excess YPLL, respectively, compared with their White counterparts.

These findings were maintained when the causes of death were broken into subcategories:

  • Ischemic heart disease: Approximately 257 327 excess deaths and 7.9 million excess YPLL among Black individuals compared to White individuals.

  • HTN: Approximately 191 097 excess deaths and 5.8 million excess YPLL due to HTN among Black persons compared to White persons.

  • Cerebrovascular disease: Approximately 154 541 excess deaths and 4.7 million excess YPLL among Black individuals compared to White individuals.

  • HF: Approximately 46 578 excess deaths and 1.3 million excess YPLL among Black Americans compared to White Americans.

Authors' comment

"This [report] highlights the pressing need for further research addressing a myriad of health policies, social determinants, and structural elements as potential root causes holding solutions to these persistent cardiovascular health inequities observed among Black Americans."

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